Pregnancy Guide

Tennessee Section

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What You Should Know about Teenage Pregnancy - Facts


Teenage pregnancy facts state that roughly 95% of teenage pregnancies are unintended. Teenage mothers usually do not have an easy life after their pregnancy; many researchers argue that women who experience teenage pregnancy do not have easy lives even before they become pregnant. Teenage pregnancy facts show that both before and after their pregnancy, adolescent mothers are more likely to have low family incomes; they are actually more likely to be poor and on welfare. Indeed, the poorer the adolescent, the more likely she is to become pregnant. Adolescent mothers are less educated than women who wait until at least 20 to have a baby, they are less likely to be married and their children are more likely to have developmental problems.

In 2002, 10% of mothers between the ages of 15 and 17 had graduated high school. After having the baby, only about 33% of adolescent mothers go back and graduate high school, while a very low 1.5% will go on to receive a college degree by age 30. Even fathers of children born to teenage mothers do not fare well. According to teenage pregnancy facts gathered by one study, these males earned an estimated average of $3400 less than the fathers of children born to mothers who were 20 or 21 years of age.

Close to 80% of adolescent mothers end up on welfare, usually within five years of giving birth to their first child. The annual cost of teenage pregnancy is around $7 billion in taxes, public assistance, child health care, foster care, and encounters with the law. In the period between 1985 and 1990, public costs resulting from teenage pregnancy totaled around $120 billion. A close analysis of teenage pregnancy facts suggests that around $48 billion could have been saved if the adolescent had waited to have the child until she was at least 20 years old. For every federal dollar spent on contraceptives for low-income women, the government saves more than $4 in welfare payments and medical costs, among other things.

According to teenage pregnancy facts, eighty percent of children born to unwed teenage high school dropouts live in poverty compared to 8% of children born to married women who graduated high school and who waited until age 20 to become pregnant. A teenage mother receives around $1400 per year in support from Aid to Families with Dependent Children and the federal food stamp program during the first 13 years of being a parent. Fifty three percent of welfare funding is spent on families where at least the first child was born to an adolescent mother. Fifty six percent of teenage mothers receive public assistance to cover the cost of delivering the baby and 30% of teen mothers receive public assistance by the time they are 20 years old.

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