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Teenage Pregnancy Claim of Value Review

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Teenage Pregnancy Claim of Value Review

With each passing generation, the veil of liberty is gradually being lifted. We become more liberal as we realize the value of responsibility. The passage of time will attest to this. Ideas censored before slowly become open to the public and the youth always have access to experiences that would otherwise be forbidden or inaccessible during the bloom of their predecessors. But every idea, every experience, every step in our development, has a price. Chains were made for no reason.

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And in a time when sensual pleasure is adored with little or no consideration of its entailed responsibility, many teenagers have fallen for a liberty that would later enslave them.

The increasing public concern on adolescent pregnancy urged the government to organize a number of programs in order to prevent it, most notably the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Vergari). However, the incidence of teen pregnancy in the United States remains the highest among other countries, despite its gradual down slope (Guttmacher Institute).

It was estimated that the United States spends approximately $7 billion every year in order to address the issue of teen pregnancy (Lee), taking its toll from families, communities, and taxpayers (Tobias), not to mention the increased threat of overpopulation caused by unwanted teen pregnancies.

Some experts believe that the society must adapt to the changing trends in social structure, teen pregnancy included, especially in cases when the adolescent decides to keep the child after giving birth. This adaptation includes courses in schools instructing students about child care (Capuzzi). Whatever adverse circumstance a child was born with, he does not deserve it. In Addition, it is important for a nation to ensure that the next generation would have all the support that they need in order to become all that they could possibly be and continue the country’s legacy. Yet, the steps being implemented by the government to minimize teen pregnancy was not aimed at depriving its future constituents needed support. Rather, what the government does not want to do is to spend its resources on a phenomenon that could otherwise be avoided in the first place. If only the federal government could cut down expenses on teen pregnancy to a considerable degree, its funds could then be reallocated to more pressing concerns such as healthcare, education, or even national security. Various methods of preventing conception have been made accessible to the public in order to stop accidental and teen pregnancies. If ever a couple ignores such contraceptive practices during intercourse and led to unwanted pregnancy, it would not be the fault of the government, but their own. It could be alarming to see the adverse effects of teen pregnancy both for the teenage mother and the child. However, there are still more important national matters to consider, and why would they request assistance from the government for circumstances out of their own mistakes?

Regardless of wealth, race, or social status, pregnancy poses a difficult challenge, especially for teens. A teen is a person still on a stage called adolescence, and by definition, adolescence is a phase in life wherein a person is in “a stage of development (as of a language or culture) prior to maturity” (Merriam Webster). It is the stage in life wherein teens for the first time would experience life in full swing—a crucial point in their development as adults. Discontent or failures experienced in daily adolescent life such as educational failings, unemployment, financial situation, or low self-esteem proved to be the effects of pregnancy on teens. Consequently, these effects were also shown to be the very drivers of teenage pregnancy itself, even before the woman in question becomes impregnated (Christensen & Rosen). This vicious cycle suggests that whether intentional or unintentional, whatever difficulties our youth is experiencing in life, having a baby is definitely not an answer. The fact that teens are not yet in a state of maturity proves their ineligibility for raising a child. A “child raising a child” would be almost similar to “a blind leading the blind”.

Proponents of teen pregnancy argue that there is nothing wrong with teenagers when it comes to childbearing. As a matter of fact, a study shows that having a baby made teenage women more mature and reaffirms their own womanhood (Donmoyer & Kos). However, teen pregnancy presents a lot of risks and its consequences block other opportunities for growth—education, work, social interactions, etc.—relatively safer opportunities that would help adolescent girls in their development both as a person and as a woman. Moreover, female adolescents have the option to join in organizations and activities that seek to empower women. Childbearing is not the only option in order to rediscover a young woman’s femininity, but for those with strong maternal urge and financial capacity, child adoption may serve as a better and socially responsible alternative.

Teen childbearing could be an ordeal difficult for expecting adolescents to go through, but the unsuspecting child will face an unhappier experience. Studies failed to prove the hypothesis that children born from teenage mothers are at a disadvantage to those born from mothers who chose to postpone pregnancy. However, it was shown that teen childbearing has some negative effects on the child’s medical, psychological and social development over time (Guttmacher Institute). On the other hand, some believe that educational, social, cultural, and other factors have more weight than age alone in determining a teen mother’s child raising practices (Rickel). The mother, though a major factor, is still not the sole determiner of the child’s development—the environment that the kid has grown up with plays a great role, especially if the mother belongs to a higher social class. Yet, the fact still remains that teenage pregnancies are more common to teens from lower social classes, living in slums and situated in less favorable environs. In addition, the frequency of premature delivery, underweight infants, and physical and developmental disabilities are greater in babies with adolescent mothers when compared with those born from older female parents (American Academy of Pediatrics). Any physical disfavor on the infant further aggravates the situation both for the teenage parent and the child, economically, socially, and psychologically.

The government is doing its best to ensure the well-being of all its constituents, but it must not support those whose needs are based on whim, or even negative circumstances of their own making. It is also the ambition of mothers, both young and old, to shape her child from womb until maturity, and yet how can a teen mother properly demonstrate it, when she hasn’t even reached that state of adulthood herself? In the end, the teenage mother suffers, taxpayers suffer, the government suffers, and mostly, the child, the future of the nation, for the most part, is affected. And what would a nation of orphans and broken families look like?

Teenagers have no need to rush things in life. Life comes in stages, and adolescence plays but a short period that will soon pass. Therefore, instead of thinking about pregnancy during adolescence, what the kids should focus on is to enjoy their own youth responsibly and prepare themselves for adulthood and duties that would enable them to create the best possible environment for the next generation.

Works Cited

“adolescence.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Online. 22 April 2009 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abstinence

Capuzzi, D. & L. B. Golden. “Preventing Adolescent Suicide”. New York: Taylor &

Francis, 1988, 40.

“Care of Adolescent Parents and Their Children.” American Academy of Pediatrics. 2001.  . 04 May 2009. <http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;107/2/429>.

Christensen, S., & A. Rosen. “Teenage Pregnancy”. Memorial Health System. Website, 1996. http://community.michiana.org/famconn/teenpreg.html

Donmoyer, R., & R. Kos. “At-risk Students: Portraits, Policies, Programs, and Practices”. New York: 1993, 125.

Guttmacher Institute. “Early Childbearing and Children’s Achievement And Behavior over Time.” Guttmacher Institute Website, 2006

<http://www.guttmacher.org>

Guttmacher Institute. “United States teenage pregnancy statistics national and state trends  by race and ethnicity.” Guttmacher Institute Website, 2006  http://www.guttmacher.org

Lee, S. W. “Encyclopedia of School Psychology”. California: Sage, 2005, 561.

Rickel, A. “Teen Pregnancy and Parenting”. New York: Taylor & Francis, 1989, 49.

Tobias, M. “No Vacancy: Global Responses to the Human Population Explosion”.

Illinois: Hope Publishing House, 2005, 221.

Vergari, S. “Morality politics and the implementation of abstinence-only sex education: A case

of policy compromise.” In The Public Clash of Private Values, ed. C. Mooney. New

York, NY: Seven Bridges Press LLC, 2001, 201-209

 

Cite this Teenage Pregnancy Claim of Value Review

Teenage Pregnancy Claim of Value Review. (2016, Sep 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/teenage-pregnancy-claim-of-value-review/

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