Improving Public Health Law

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Updated: May 17, 2021
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One public health issue that is a concern in the state of Georgia is teen pregnancy. According to the United Nations Statistics Division, teen pregnancies are associated with poor social and economic conditions and prospects. Intended pregnancies to young women in low-resource settings are of policy and public health relevance because of the risks associated with them. Young adolescents are also more likely to experience premature delivery and to give birth to low birth weight babies than older women. Teen pregnancies can highlight remaining unmet needs for information and services to help adolescents prevent unintended pregnancies. The target population are young adolescents ranging in age from 10-14 years old and 15-19 years old (“Sedgh, Finer, Bankole, Eilers, & Singh,” 2016). In this research paper, the issue of the financial costs and the public health laws that impact teen pregnancy will be researched.

Pregnant and parenting adolescents need strong social support networks and practical tools to help harness their motivation and transcend social and material barriers to achieve their goals and aspirations. The United States still has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy of any country. Adolescent pregnancy has been associated with a number of negative social, psychological, developmental, and health outcomes for both the mothers and their children. Researchers and policy makers alike have focused on the devastating effects of adolescent pregnancy and parenthood. There are aspirations of pregnant and parenting adolescents, and structural and social barriers that are viewed as obstacles to achieving these aspirations. Adolescent pregnancy is more likely a consequence rather than a cause of economic and social disadvantage. Pregnancy is not the impetus for the correlated negative “outcomes” of adolescent pregnancy. Adolescent pregnancy is a reflection of the social context in which the Running Head: “Improving Public Health Law” 2 pregnancy takes place. The research that I have done identifies the structural barriers that may be the impetus for aspirational changes and lowering of expectations. In the USA, 85% of teen pregnancies are unplanned, which stem from deliberate rape. Teen mothers suffer from not going to school and these numbers are at 50% in the U.S. These mothers normally wind up getting their high school diplomas as old as 22 years of age. Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars because teen mothers could have children that are born prematurely, the mothers could do poorly in school, and drop out. In situations like this, the input of parental figures, or guardians would be of importance for guidance. But, the subject of confidentiality could come into play.

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Confidentiality is the idea that the personal and health information a patient reveals to a clinician is private. But, there are limits on how and when the information can be disclosed to someone else. For adolescents, confidentiality is limited, in large part, because of the ethical duty to provide care in their best interests until they have the legal right to make decisions for themselves. There are difficulties inherent in navigating confidential care for adolescents depending on each situation. The law underpins adolescents’ right to confidential care. There are state health care consent laws, which provide adolescents with the right to consent to and receive confidential care. Breaking adolescent confidentiality is something that a physician should take very seriously. Breaking confidentiality also sends a signal to the adolescent that the doctor does not respect his or her emerging autonomy or decision-making capacity (“Ott,” 2014). When something like this happens this could cause teenage mother to consider abortion.

Many states have considered or adopted laws that would prevent teens under 18 from obtaining an abortion unless they involve a parent or go to court. These laws require a clinic or Running Head: “Improving Public Health Law” 3 physician to obtain the consent of a parent before an abortion, but other laws require a parent to be notified before the abortion. One of these public health laws are the Interventional Public Health Law. This law influences mediators or health outcomes. This Interventional Public Health Law supports the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. This type of program maximizes new opportunities for teen pregnancy prevention. This Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program will better inform others of efforts that are effective in reducing teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and associated sexual risk behaviors (“Koh,” 2013). The Incidental Public Health Law is a law regardless of topic or purpose that are having an impact on public health. This law promotes negative or positive consequences for health. The Supreme Court has ruled that states may not give parents absolute veto over an abortion. There is a judicial bypass procedure that requires a minor to receive court approval for an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent. Teen mothers deserve the right to access the full range of reproductive and sexual health services they need, which includes abortion care. Legislation which seeks to protect women’s access to abortion must include younger women and protect their access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion care (“Marr,” 2019). Its’ important that teen mothers, parents and the government can agree on laws that will be fair to all that are involved in the best interest of the patient.

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Improving Public Health Law. (2021, May 17). Retrieved from