Teen Pregnancy Still an Issue

A Look at the Statistics

Sophomore+Ally+Ratzel+reads+a+children%27s+book+to+the+baby+she+has+been+assigned+in+Parenting+class.+Northmont%27s+Parenting+class+focuses+on+parenting+skills+and+child+development%2C+which+bring+awareness+to+the+struggles+of+raising+an+infant.

Photo by Kyndall Wilson

Sophomore Ally Ratzel reads a children’s book to the baby she has been assigned in Parenting class. Northmont’s Parenting class focuses on parenting skills and child development, which bring awareness to the struggles of raising an infant.

Taylor Norton, Staff Writer

Even though there has been a sharp decline in teenage pregnancy in the United States, the fact remains that three in ten American teen girls will get pregnant at least once before age twenty. That equates to 750,000 teen pregnancies every year, which affects students in high school. Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school, and more than 50% of teen mothers never graduate from high school.

“I feel they are struggling to raise the child, so they want to devote their time to the baby instead of school,” said junior Brandon Packard.

Some teens, however, still realize the importance of graduation from high school.

“I would still try to graduate because I feel like that’s very important and it’s still your responsibility [to graduate],” said junior Desree Bucher.

Becoming a teen mom can affect plans for college, as well, as less that 2% of teen moms earn a degree by age 30.

“I feel like they don’t have the time or money to spend on college because they have to take care of their child,” said junior Jonathan Ellingson.

Obviously, having a baby forces you to put the baby first and you don’t have time for things you used to.

“Teen moms have other priorities than education,” said sophomore Sarah Smith.

Alarmingly, the United States still has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the Western industrialized world, and there are are several contributing factors, including lack of sex education and lack of contraception options. However, students have their own opinions.

“I think it’s because people don’t have patience, and if there is something out there for teens to try, then they will,” said junior John Garrison.

Teens blame boredom as well.

“I feel like it’s because there are a bunch of teenagers with nothing to do, so they look for fun in the form of sex which can end up as a child,” said junior Taylor Fuchs.

Some students advocate adoption for unplanned pregnancies.

“If for some reason we feel like we can’t take care of it, then I feel we should give it up to a trusted adoption program,” said junior Justin Meek.

When a teenager does have a child, eight out of ten teen dads still don’t marry the mother of their child.

“I think it’s because they aren’t ready to get married yet,” said junior Emily Ritchie.

However, some students feel differently.

“If it was me, I would marry the mother of my child because it was my decision to have unprotected sex, so it is my responsibility to take care of the child,” said junior Alex Sharp.

Even though teen pregnancy numbers have dropped as previously stated, statistics still reveal it is an issue facing American teenagers, most of whom are in high school.