Pregnancy facts for teens

Babies born to teens are at an increased risk of low birth weight and the attending health problems; mental retardation, blindness, deafness, mental illness, cerebral palsy and infant death.
The epidemic of teenage pregnancy has not only created a moral dilemma, but a socioeconomic crisis.  We MUST turn things around.  Future generations are counting on us! Lifeline Family Center is bringing an abstinence-until-marriage message to middle and high school students as well as helping teen moms become God-dependent, self-supporting, contributing members of society.
The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Thirty-four percent of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 — about 820,000 a year. The teen birth rate has declined slowly but steadily from 1991 to 2002 with an overall decline of 30 percent for those aged 15 to 19.
The younger a teenaged girl is when she has sex for the first time, the more likely she is to have had unwanted or non-voluntary sex. Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school (only one-third receive a high school diploma) and only 1.5% have a college degree by age 30. The children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

The sons of teen mothers are 13 percent more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22 percent more likely to become teen mothers themselves. The primary reason that teenage girls who have never had intercourse give for abstaining from sex is that having sex would be against their religious or moral values. Teenagers who have strong emotional attachments to their parents are much less likely to become sexually active at an early age and less likely to have a teen pregnancy.
Teens who have been raised by both parents (biological or adoptive) from birth, have lower probabilities of having sex than youths who grew up in any other family situation.
Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79 percent are to unmarried teens. These recent declines reverse the 23-percent rise in the teenage birth rate from 1986 to 1991. Teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare (nearly 80 percent of unmarried teen mothers end up on welfare). Other reasons cited include desire to avoid pregnancy, fear of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and not having met the appropriate partner. Ninety-four percent of adults in the United States-and 91 percent of teenagers-think it important that school-aged children and teenagers be given a strong message from society that they should abstain from sex until they are out of high school.

Three-quarters of teens use some method of contraception (usually a condom) the first time they have sex. Seventy-eight percent of adults also think that sexually active teenagers should have access to contraception to prevent teen pregnancy.
A sexually active teen who does not use contraception has a 90 percent chance of teen pregnancy within one year. Similarly, teens from intact, two-parent families are less likely to give birth in their teens than girls from other family backgrounds. Most teenagers giving birth before 1980 were married whereas most teens giving birth today are unmarried.

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