Hunter 1 How many of you have seen “Teen Mom “or “16 and Pregnant “? Nearly one billion girlsget pregnant each year. Teen girls can get pregnant the first time they have sex, and every timeafter that; the majority of pregnancies happen between fifteen and to nineteen years of age.Parents must involve themselves in their teen lives. Teens are showing signs of being conservative sexually. (Teen).There is many ways toprevent teen pregnancies such as contraceptives, including, birth control and condoms. Allmethods of birth control have failure rates. (Teen). Some teens think it’s cool to have sex withoutprotection but to avoid pregnancy and STD’s; condoms are important. Contraceptives are a goodway to practice abstinence. Abstinence is the voluntary restraint in indulging in bodily activitiesthat are widely experienced as giving pleasure. (News) A baby requires a lot of attention, so how could you possibly have enough time foryourself or even school? Parenthood is the leading reason why teens drop of out school.(Pregnancy) less than half of teen mothers graduate from high school and fewer than two percentearn a college degree by thirty. (Pregnancy) Children of teen mothers do worse in school thanthose born to older parents. Children of teen mothers are less likely to repeat a grade, completehigh school, and have lower performance on standardized tests. About one-fourth of teen momshave a second child within a year of the first pregnancy. (Pregnancy).A lot of times a teenmother is the daughter of a teen mother and they tell their child not to follow in their footsteps tobreak the cycle and when they get pregnant they feel hurt and disappointed because they wantedthem to be better than them. Can you imagine how parent(s) feels when her daughter or son tellsthem their expecting a baby and their own children themselves?
Hunter 2 “Since 2006, health officials at the federal centers for disease control and prevention havewatched warily as the teen birth rate has crept up. The increases come after nearly two years ofsteep declines. Rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among teens, and sexuallyactivity among certain age groups and ethnic and racial groups, are much more worrisome.According to Lorrie Gavin, a CDC researcher. “You see overall patterns through the ninety’s andearly two-thousands’ of general improvements in the sexual and reproductive health for youngpeople. That was true for younger teens; for example, surveys of African American teen birthrates have always been the highest, show sexual activity dropped from 59.3 percent in 1991 to 46percent in 2007. Most teens who had sex said they used a condom. One million young peoplewere infected in 2006; Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Chlamydia infection rates have all increased”(Wilson) Most young female teenagers want to have a baby because they want to be loved and theythink that having a baby will make the guy stay around, make the guy happier or make theirrelationship better; but did you ever think that getting pregnant was a setup? For example LeylaW. couldn’t figure out where her birth control pills kept going, one day a few tablets would bemissing; next the whole container, her boyfriend shrugged and said he hadn’t seen them, shebelieved him until she found them in his drawer, when confronting him, he hit her, that was hisway of shutting her up, he also raped her and most days left her locked in a bedroom with a bit offood and water (Teen). According to statistics eight out of ten fathers don’t marry the mothersand they don’t stay around for the raising of the child. Due to lack of support by the fathers, theteen’s girls resort to welfare. Welfare is financial assistance program funded by tax payers, fortaxpayers who are no longer capable of supporting themselves. More than half of mothers onwelfare had their child as a teen.(Teen).
Hunter 3 There is three main choices when realizing you are pregnant that you have to make;abortion, adoption or having the baby. An abortion means terminating the pregnancy. Someyoung teens decide that preparing for another life other than their own is hard work and that theyaren’t ready so they resort to abortions. Another option is adoption; adoption means that you’redeciding to give your baby away to a good couple who may not be able to produce children, or insome cases if they can’t find a family your child goes to foster care. The last and finally option ishaving the baby, which means caring for the baby and realizing you are about to have control ofanother life. Have you ever seen the movie the “Pregnancy Pact “? Well it has also broken nationwideto a very interesting story and wildly watched concept. At a high school in Gloucester,Massachusetts at least seventeen girls gotpregnant; more than four times the schools pregnancyrate from the schools rate last year. But what has shocked everyone in the town is that it seems asthough these teenagers made a pact and were trying to get pregnant intentionally so they couldall have their babies at the same time. Kathleen Kingsbury, a reporter for Time Magazine, helpedbring attention to this story with her article “Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High”. (Teen)“Sheformed interviews with the girls in the pact, the friends and the principal at the school, amongothers, after it came to light”.(Teens) Kingsbury tells NPR’s Michelle Norris that the PrincipalJoseph Sullivan made it clear that most of the girls were alone and they didn’t have a supportivefamily behind them. Most of the girls were underclassmen. “I have a feeling that these girlsweren’t apart of the cheerleading squad; they were loners”. (Teens) The school first noticed whatwas going on when a large number of girls were going to the school nurse to havepregnancytests. When they found out they were pregnant; they celebrated, one yelled out “Sweet!” saysKingsbury. (Teen)“When Sullivan invested, six or seven of the girls admitted that they were
Hunter 4trying to get pregnant. “(Teen) These are the girls who didn’t have a strong life plan and theydecided, collectively to make their own life plan and take control of what was happening, saysthe reporter. Another interesting fact is the girls did not havemuch knowledge in sexualeducation, which ends freshman year says the reporter; the girls she spoke to had littlebackground of condoms and contraceptives. One girl the reporter said she spoke with said sheand her boyfriend used a condom every once in a while, but didn’t really know how to use one.And sometimes the girl and her boyfriend forgot and didn’t think it was necessary. “In May,school nurse KimDaly and the director of the Student Health Clinic, Brain Orr, resigned in theprotest after the school rejected their proposal to distribute contraceptives regardless of theparents’ permission, according the Kingsbury.”(Teen) As for the baby’s fathers, Kingsbury saysmany of them were way older than the mothers. “One was a twenty-four year old homeless manwho was living in a local shelter, the girls apparently recruited him”.(Teen) Authorities are tryingto decide whether to press statutory rape charges against the fathers or leave them alone and letthem raise their child. I think the girls are ashamed of what they have done and the attention itbrought to the school and town. I have had a very interesting interview with Mrs. Tanya Foster form Johnston OB/GYN.We talked about the ups and downs of a typical day and what was the best and worst part of heroccupation. She informed me that the best part of her job was seeing healthy and joyful childrenan” handing out lollipops” says Mrs. Foster comically; the worst part of her job is that shedoesn’t know how to care for a child, or doesn’t know what’s wrong with them so they have tobe transferred, “I feel a sense of guilt sometimes” according to Mrs. Foster. A typical day for heris taking temperatures, checking heart rates, and giving monthly shots.
Hunter 5 How do you deal with your teen’s pregnancy? Well, I have some important tips thatmight help you analyze the situation and be more involved. “If your daughter is pregnant andplanning to have a baby, many changes await you and your family, and although it’s not whatyou expected it happens every day; if your teen is about to become a mother, it can beoverwhelming for everyone.” (For) If you have just found out your teen is having a baby it cancreate a wide range of emotions, from disappointment to worrying about what’s going to happennext in the future. “Some parents feel a sense of guilt, thinking that only if they’d done more toprotect their child this wouldn’t have happened”. (For) So what can you do as the parent of ateen having a baby? Recognize your feelings and try to work through them so you will be able tosupport your daughter; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel the emotions that you arefeeling, such reactions are common. “You might have a great deal of emotions to deal with atfirst. But the realities of the upcoming baby means that you will have to get pass your ownfeelings for the sake of your daughter and her child”. (For) Just a short period ago your teen’sbiggest fear might have been hanging out with friends and wondering what clothes to wear towear the next day. Now she’s dealing with morning sickness and scheduling doctorappointments, her world completely changed. And although some parents feel guilty by theirteen’s pregnancy and worried about what family and others will say and do, many other parentsare happy about being a grandparent, especially if the teen is in a good and healthy relationship. Parents should be involved in their teen’slife; theyare there for support; as I said in mypaper, rand you as a parent have to put aside your feelings to help be there for your child. Ibelieve that parents shouldn’t give up on their child after they have revealed that their pregnantor expecting because they need that support from their family. Regardless of whether teenpregnancy was a mistake or not, a parent’s responsibility is to help their children.