Teen Pregnancy: Prevention or Preparation

Kelly Fee, Reporter

The two faint lines on the light colored stick inform her that for the next nine months she’ll be eating for two. Teenage pregnancy is an epidemic that has been affecting thousands of young girls every year since the 1970’s. While teen pregnancy rates have dropped dramatically in last 28 years, it’s still an ongoing issue.

Being a teen mom is a tremendous struggle. Between juggling school, a job, a baby and a social life, it seems almost impossible, yet it is not. While studies have shown that conceiving a child before the age of 20 lowers graduation rates, some teen mothers disagree stating that their child has pushed them to get a better education and achieve their goals. “I probably would have dropped out by now if it wasn’t for my daughter,” said junior Hunter Chambers.

Infographic Credit Kelly Fee

It can be difficult to maintain friends in high school, especially while going through an experience such as pregnancy.

When other students witness a taboo occurrence such as teen pregnancy, physical education teacher Liz Jensen said others are quick to judge, which causes a huge separation between peers. “I have lost many friends due to them calling me a bunch of names because they think that I am completely different for having a child and many other things,” said sophomore Ashley Batista. She explained that while mistakes were made, it takes a whole other level of maturity to grow up and take responsibility for the mistakes you have made.  

It’s obvious that with having children comes higher levels of commitment and responsibility. Maturing faster is a necessity when you are essentially a child raising another child. Some teen mothers have said this newly acquired grown up lifestyle has uplifted them and taught them useful life skills such as strength, independence and time management. “I think that I have bettered myself for him and for us, our future and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Batista.

On the same topic, it is widely known that the intentions of sex education is to prevent pregnancy. The question is, instead of focusing so much on preventing pregnancy, should we be educating and preparing for when it does happen? It has been shown that giving birth at a younger age can result in risks such as premature birth and higher rates of infant mortality. “I think those are good points to bring up,” said Liz Jensen.

Chambers agreed that bringing up these serious and not-so-common topics would help many teenagers with making future decisions.