Teen pregnancy prevention

I hesitate to admit this on a work-related blog, but since May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, here goes: I watch MTV’s Teen Mom 2 almost every week.
Although there are lots of statistics about teen parents and their babies, being a teen parent is about so much more than numbers. According to CDC, they are less likely to finish high school – only about 50% of teen moms receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age (compared to 90% of women who did not give birth during adolescence). They are more likely to have fewer skills and be less prepared for kindergarten, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, drop out of high school, give birth as a teenager, and be unemployed or underemployed as a young adult.

Additionally, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and black teens are about 1.5 times more likely to have a repeat teen birth, compared to white teens. Perhaps this is even more surprising: In an April 2013 issue of Vital Signs, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health announced that nearly one in five teen births is a repeat birth, meaning that the mother has had two or more pregnancies that resulted in live birth before age 20. For babies, rates of preterm and low birth rate are higher in teens with a repeat birth, as compared to first births.
These are difficult questions to answer because teen pregnancy is such a controversial topic.

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