Adolescent pregnancy is a global problem but is most prevalent in poorer and marginalized communities. Many young girls face significant pressure to marry and have children while they are still children.
Teen pregnancy rates rise when girls are denied the right to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being.
Girls must be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures, understand the consequences of adolescent pregnancy, and have access to appropriate healthcare and sex education.
What factors contribute to adolescent pregnancy?
Inadequate knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights
Insufficient access to youth-oriented services
Marriage pressure from family, community, and society
Child, early, and forced marriage can be both a cause and a result.
Inadequate education or school dropout
What are the consequences of teen pregnancy?
Adolescent pregnancy continues to be a significant cause of maternal and child mortality. Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. Because of their immature bodies, pregnant girls and adolescents face additional health risks and complications. Babies born to younger mothers are also more vulnerable.
Pregnancy and childbirth are neither planned nor desired by many adolescents. Adolescents in countries where abortion is prohibited or severely restricted typically resort to unsafe abortion, putting their health and lives at risk. Every year, approximately 3.9 million unsafe abortions are performed on girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries.
Adolescent pregnancy can have social and economic consequences for girls, their families, and their communities. Unmarried pregnant adolescents may face stigma or rejection from their parents and peers and violent threats. Girls who become pregnant before 18 are also more likely to face violence in a marriage or partnership.
Adolescent pregnancy is viewed as a high-risk situation because it poses serious health risks for the mother and the baby. Describe various risk factors or precursors to adolescent pregnancy. Research community and state resources devoted in adolescent pregnancy and describe at least two of these resources. Research the teen pregnancy rates for the last 10 years for your state and community. Has this rate increased or decreased? Discuss possible reasons for an increase or decrease.