Teen pregnancy is one of the most
critical issues facing America today. The explosion of out-of-wedlock teen births is a
crisis that threatens to undermine our nation. Each year, one million American teenagers
become pregnant. 175,000 give birth to their first child. As a result, the United States
now has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western World.
of teen pregnancy are staggering. Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school,
less likely to get married, and more likely to go on welfare than their peers. And the
odds are stacked against the children of teen parents from the minute they are born. Their
health is poorer, their cognitive development is slower, and their behavioral problems are
worse than their peers. Teen pregnancy robs teens of their childhood and their futures as
productive adults. It also robs their children, and their children's children.
pregnancy crisis costs taxpayers an estimated $6.9 billion in lost tax revenues and
increased spending on public assistance, health care, foster care and the criminal justice
system. As a nation, we can no longer afford the consequences of teen pregnancy.
Pregnancy, Facts you should know
Statistics can be boring. But the Statistics
on teenage pregnancy are alarming
* Some 560,000 teenage girls give birth each year. Almost one-sixth
of all U.S. births are to teenage women.
* Babies born to young teen mothers have a higher risk of serious health problems.
* Physical and mental birth defects affect many babies born to very young women. The high
rate of teenagers having babies is a national health and social problem that demands
Risks to the Teenage Mother
teenage mother has special problems, physically and emotionally.
* The death
rate from pregnancy complications is much higher among girls who give birth
under age 15 than among older mothers.
* The teenage mother is more likely to be undernourished and suffer
premature or prolonged labor.
* During the first three months of pregnancy; seven out of ten pregnant teenagers do not
see a doctor or go to a clinic.
* Poor eating habits, smoking, alcohol and drugs increase the risk of having a baby with
Health Risks to the Baby
growing inside a mother is in a most dependent, and often risky, place. Low birth weight
is the most immediate health problem. Babies born to teenagers often are born too small,
too soon. Low birth weight babies may have the following:
* Immature organ
systems (brain, lungs, heart).
* Difficulty controlling body temperature and blood sugar levels.
* Mental retardation.
* A risk of dying in early infancy that is much higher than among normal weight babies (5
1/2 pounds or more).
Consequences of Teenage Pregnancy
does not often hold great promise for a teenage mother and her child.
* Two out of three pregnant
teenagers drop out of school.
* With her education cut
short, the teenage mother may lack job skills. The income of teen mothers is half that of
those who first gave birth in their 20s. The teenage mother may become financially
dependent on her family or on welfare.
* Teenage marriages have a
much greater chance of ending in divorce.
If you are pregnant, you can increase your chances of having a
- Get regular prenatal
care from your doctor or clinic.
- Eat properly.
- Stop smoking, stop
- Don't take any drugs
unless prescribed by your doctor.
health information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician. Rip n Roll is concerned that decisions to have children
are made responsibly, and that all prospective parents know the facts involved in having a