Problem Solution Essay – Teenage Pregnancy
Over the years, more and more teens are becoming moms at an alarming age. Teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in a woman aged 15-19 years. According to CDC.gov, more than 400.000 teen girls give birth each year in the US, about 1.100 teens give birth every day. These unplanned pregnancies lead to a big economic, social, and health cost for families and government. Teen childbearing costs US taxpayers more than 9 million yearly (CDC.gov). This problem makes think about what may be done to lower the percentages of pregnancy in adolescents. To prevent teenage pregnancy, government and schools should be work together, and teenagers need to know the concept of abstinence.
The lack of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health is one of the reasons that lead to pregnancy in adolescents. This lack of education and parents is related because most of the education an adolescent receives comes from their home, but many families, especially Hispanics, still believe in taboos that does not let parents be open with their children on issues such as sexuality and drugs. After discovering their pregnancy, many teenagers remain single, drop out of school and some never finish their education; which is a fact that increases poverty. For example, under Plan-international.org, “It was the talk of my community,” says Silma, 16, who lives in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. “I had just turned 14 and, my boyfriend was 18 when I fell pregnant. I knew vaguely how to protect myself, but he did not. When I told my boyfriend, he disappeared.” After being in a situation like this, some questions also arise such as whether they should keep the baby or consider adoption or abortion. Regardless of the decision, it is reasonable to expect that this affects the teenage well-being and her family. Some of the health issues that a pregnant adolescent can face are preeclampsia, anemia, contracted STDs, and premature delivery. Postpartum depression is another factor that affects their health. Overwhelming fatigue, feeling worthless, anxiety, and panic attacks are some of its symptoms. Most adolescents do not know the consequences of having a baby at an early age. However, government and schools can help to root this problem.
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One of the solutions to prevent teenage pregnancies is the joint work between government and schools to educate and guide adolescents. Teach teens how and the importance of delaying the beginning of sexual intercourse, support communication between parents and teens about the prevention of pregnancy, and steps that they need to take if they become sexually active are some aspects that can be implemented to solve this problem. In addition, sexually active young people should have access to effective and free contraceptive methods. This is one of the components government should invest in, so schools can distribute contraceptives for free. For example, according to the United Nations Population Fund, Nicaragua has implemented a program called “Our Girl Power Project”, which educates young people about how to protect themselves, and provide healthcare, food, and psychological support to those teens in needed. Every week, teenagers like Silma get together to have open discussions about the risk of teenage pregnancy, and the impact that it has on their lives. In short, the government and schools must provide the information and resources needed by adolescents to help prevent pregnancies.
Abstinence is another solution to prevent teenage pregnancy. Abstinence guarantees the reduction of pregnancy in adolescents by 100 percent, but the truth is that most young people will not abstain. The problem is that depends on their environment, abstinence can be difficult to practice. For example, things that teenagers see in TV, movies, magazines, or the pressure from their peers and friends to have sex can make it hard. Also, abstinence only until marriage programs taught at schools is another reason why abstinence does not work. These programs teach teens to remain in abstinence until marriage, and this is also improbable due to the raising age of first marriage around the world. In addition, these programs do not prepare young people for life because they generally withhold information about pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, leaving young people without the information that they need; therefore, they can end their period of abstinence without being prepared to protect themselves. Although abstinence is the most effective solution for many public health problems, it is also very difficult to practice.
To sum up, joint work between government and schools and abstinence can help to solve the teenage pregnancy problem. The responsibility of schools, government, communities, and parents is to educate teens about abstinence, birth control methods, and the effects of early sexual activity. Also, parents can strongly influence their teenager’s decisions by taking the time to be involved when the issue of sex arises. This can help reduce the teenage pregnancy rates.