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Teenage Pregnancy – Don’t Blame the Victim

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Teenage pregnancy, also referred to as adolescent pregnancy, is defined as pregnancy occurring in women up to 19 years old. Teenage pregnancy is a significant social issue in many nations, though in some it is natural for adolescents to marry young and have children at a young age. In nations where this is not the case, though, teenage pregnancy is an extremely difficult experience for young women; though teenage girls are technically able to give birth physically, they are not ready emotionally or financially to raise children.

Statistics say that about 34% of young women become pregnant at least once before reaching 20 years old (about 820,000). As is the case around the world, experts agree that behind the phenomenon of teenage pregnancy lies a lack of sexual education. Girls may not know how to prevent pregnancy and they often believe myths regarding pregnancy prevention (like douching after sex using Pepsi or Coke).

Whatever the view as to why girls get pregnant, all agree that a teenage girl’s life changes upon finding out she is pregnant. Because of this, there are a number of programs worldwide to help prevent teenage pregnancy and opinions differ as to how to structure these programs and what their focus should be.

A big debate concerns whether abstinence-only programs are valid methods of dealing with the teenage pregnancy phenomenon; many researchers believe that sex education, including information regarding contraception, is essential to equip teenagers in the battle against teen pregnancy. Supporters of abstinence-only programs argue that including information about contraception is a sign to adolescents to be sexually active; studies, however, seem to show that there is no increase of sexual activity among students who receive information regarding birth control. Supporters of sex education claim that abstinence-only programs do nothing to help adolescents feel more comfortable talking about their sexuality and so teens will be most likely to avoid seeking adults for advice in confusing situations.

Many girls do not know that there are various birth control methods available. Depo-Provera is injected into a woman’s arm muscle or buttocks every 3 months in order to prevent ovulation, alter cervical mucus and prevent implantation. Norplant is an implant made of 6 matchstick-sized rubber rods which is inserted under the skin by a doctor and is effective for 5 years. Low-dose birth control pills, condoms, contraceptive jelly, and emergency contraceptive pills are also available.

Within 72 hours of having sex, a girl can take an emergency contraceptive pill. If it is already late for that, the girl will have to decide between keeping the child, putting it up for adoption (which can be closed or open), putting it in foster care, or having an abortion.


Once a girl is pregnant, she needs to know that she has choices, and she must choose what is best for her. Even if girls are ashamed at talking with their family members, there are a number of doctors and clinics open which offer counseling services, like Planned Parenthood.







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Teenage Pregnancy In South Africa News

Minister Tackles Teenage Pregnancy in Bulwer - AllAfrica.com


Minister Tackles Teenage Pregnancy in Bulwer
AllAfrica.com
Statistics South Africa's 2013 Household Survey Report also showed that 7.8% of South African girls between ages of seven and 18 years were not attending any educational institution and cited pregnancy as a reason for high levels of school dropouts.

Read more...


Do a third of SA women have a baby by the time they are 19? - Mail & Guardian Online


Do a third of SA women have a baby by the time they are 19?
Mail & Guardian Online
[T]he department remains concerned by the high rate of teenage pregnancy, with more than a third of South African women giving birth by the age of 19,” the department's spokesperson, Sam Mkhwanazi, was quoted saying in a report about a new implantable ...

and more »

Read more...


Teen pregnancy relegates young moms to poverty - Philly.com


Philly.com

Teen pregnancy relegates young moms to poverty
Philly.com
TEENAGE PARENTING is not a contagious disease and should not keep young mothers from completing their education. Yet in South Africa, girls face eviction from school after becoming pregnant because that is the cultural norm. Many in South Africa ...

Read more...


School Gives Hope to Pregnant Teens - AllAfrica.com


School Gives Hope to Pregnant Teens
AllAfrica.com
A special school for pregnant teenagers in South Africa is trying to help end the cycle of poverty associated with early birth. South African researchers say around 30 percent of girls in the country get pregnant by the time they are 19 years old and ...

and more »

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Emergency: Stigma and neglect conspire against SA women - Mail & Guardian Online


Emergency: Stigma and neglect conspire against SA women
Mail & Guardian Online
According to Rees, “there is no database to actually provide statistics on women who have used or are using this option” but “the high teenage pregnancy and abortion rate in South Africa is a sure sign that many are not taking advantage of this method”.

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Family Disowns Teen Mother - AllAfrica.com


Family Disowns Teen Mother
AllAfrica.com
In February, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi introduced the country's first below the skin implant to prevent pregnancy, called Implanon Nxt. The size of a matchstick, the implant can protect against pregnancy for three years and works within 50 ...

and more »

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'Showcase of Shame' Campaign Is Forcing Venezuelans to Confront the ... - Global Voices Online


Global Voices Online

'Showcase of Shame' Campaign Is Forcing Venezuelans to Confront the ...
Global Voices Online
... girls under the age of 18 become pregnant in Venezuela, according to the organization. A 2013 World Bank report found Latin America and the Caribbean was the region with the third highest teenage fertility rate behind Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Read more...