Teen pregnancy in America

Adam Flowers, Staff Reporter

In the year of 2015, 229,715 babies were born to women aged 15 – 19 years, according to the CDC. Granted this statistic has dropped almost extramentally since 2007, this rate is still significantly high. In the next year, the number dropped down to 209,809 births, according to HHS.gov. These numbers are substantially higher in the United States in comparison to other countries.

  Teen pregnancies can have a great social and financial effect on the teen parent and the child or the children. According to the CDC, teen pregnancy accounted for at least $9.4 billion in 2010 in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care. Teen pregnancy and births also account for high school dropout rates among girls. 50% percent of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22. Along with this, children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and to dropout of high school.

  To lower the statistics of teen pregnancy, teens should either practice safe sex or remain abstinent until adulthood. Although, there is a vast amount of teens who don’t have a great understanding of safe sex. A factor of this can simply be the lack of mandation of sex education in public schools.

  According to plannedparenthood.org, 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate a sex education course be taught in all schools and 34 states mandate education about HIV. Nebraska is not one of these states.

  These courses should include discussions about how STDs are transmitted and how to prevent infections, just to name a few. Although, according to the 2014 CDC School Health Profiles, fewer than half of high schools and only one-fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics recommended by the CDC. With that, in 2011 – 2013, 43% of adolescent females and 57% of adolescent males did not receive information about birth control or other contraceptives before they had intercourse for the very first time.

  There are numerous methods to use when practicing safe sex, such as condoms and birth control. An alternative to birth control can typically be an IUD, or an intrauterine device. An IUD is device that is inserted into the uterus to provide birth control. This can last roughly three to six years, but these methods specifically are over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.