January 21st, 2008
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Categories: Teen Pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy sure has been in the news a lot lately. First, teen pregnancy hit the big screen in the much talked about movie Juno ,which is the tale of a high school student who ends up in an unplanned pregnancy, realizes she isn’t ready to be a parent, and makes an adoption plan.

Teen pregnancy splashed the headlines again when Jamie Lynn Spears, sixteen year old star of the Nickelodeon show Zoey 101, announced the news of her own unplanned pregnancy. Interestingly, the ratings of her show have gone up (they doubled!) since the announcement.

Then teen pregnancy hit the evening news when students in Denver, Colorado asked for maternity leave (of about four weeks) that will give them time to heal and bond with their babies without being penalized for their absence from school.

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With all the talk of teen pregnancy, comes the news (from the National Center for Health Statistics) that for the first time in fourteen years the rate of teens that have given birth has increased.

In light of that and the fact that about 750,000 girls under the age of 20 become pregnant each year, Seventeen Magazine partnered with The Candie’s Foundation to reach teenagers. They are sponsoring a video contest and released the results of a groundbreaking survey in the February 2008 issue (on news stands now.) The results of the survey features some surprising results:

  • Nearly 50% of teen girls think it might be possible they’ll become pregnant in the next 5 years.
  • 67% of teen girls have friends who are or became pregnant as teenagers.

Source

So, are teens running out and getting pregnant just because role model Jamie Lynn Spears did or because Juno is a big hit in the theaters? No, probably not, but it certainly is making teen pregnancy less taboo. A positive aspect to all this talk about teen pregnancy is that it could create an opportunity for parents to discuss teen pregnancy and prevention with their adolescents.


More on Teen Pregnancy
More on Teen Mothers

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4 Responses to “Teen Pregnancy in the News a lot Lately”

  1. thomasina says:

    The movie Juno was incredibly upsetting to me. The main character had a family that could have helped her keep her son in his family, even though they were not well off. Instead, they glorify giving him away to the rich woman. They should have shown Juno twenty years later when the reality of what she did hit her. To hear people talk it seems like it set keeping children of crisis pregnancies within their families back a giant step.

  2. bunnygirl says:

    I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment on that particular (fictional) family. I do work with teens though & many of them are just not emotionally equipped to be parents. Many of them are themselves the children of teenage mothers & it just seems like a hopeless cycle. I know that some teen moms live in great family environments & will do a responsible job of raising their own kids BUT the fact is (at least in the urban areas) many of these girls have moms who have kids with a bunch of different men, have drug habbits, are negligent and/or abusive to their kids, have never held a job, etc. & many of these girls get pregnant by the mom’s current boyfriend or a friend or relative of his. Often there is no ongoing relationship with the father because he’s disinterested or in jail.

    It’s just my opinion, but I think that in this situation, it gives both the teen mom & her baby a better chance for a full life & a brighter future if she arranges an adoption for the baby. Again, there are always exceptions, but this seems to be the norm in the area where I work. It’s so sad to see these girls go from being excited and optimistic about their futures (college, career, etc.) to repeating the same hopeless cycle they swore they would never become a part of (single parenthood, welfare, etc.)

  3. MamaS says:

    Bunnygirl, I couldn’t agree more. So often, when someone says “The family should help the mother keep her baby” it ends up meaning “the family will raise the baby while the mother grows up (physically and emotionally)” and maybe when mom is 20 and her child is 5 she will take over. Or maybe by then the child will be so bonded to the grandparents that they will end up raising the first grandchild while mom (now mature, educated, and financially stable) parents her second and future children.

  4. melissakay123 says:

    Well I am 18 years old and 20 weeks pregnant as of today and I went to see the movie last weekend. I disagree that the family should have helped. Everyone makes their own decisions regarding this matter and I believe it was a good decision on her part. I am glad that she decided to give her child to someone who was financially stable enough and wanted it so badly rather than attempt to keep it under her parents care. She was only 16 years old in the movie still in high school. She did make the decision to do what she did and had the consequences, however, she did go through with the pregnancy and having the baby. At least a nice woman received it instead of it possibly growing up in an unstable environment with her and her parents and possibly not having all the things it needed. It obviously wasn’t able to be provided to it from that family.

    This movie did kind of make it seem like it’s ok to get pregnant when you’re a teenager as long as you give it up for adoption. I STRONGLY disagree with that! I believe that you should be aware of what you’re doing and the consequences that follow. Every school has sexual education whether your parents teach you it’s wrong or not you are still taught in school and also taught about PROTECTION. In the movie’s situation, they did what they thought best but it doesn’t need to be every teenager’s excuse from now on just because they saw that movie to give a baby up for adoption and not have to worry about it. Think of how the baby will feel when it grows up and wants to know and meet his real mother. It takes an emotional toll on you. Movies aren’t what make teenagers, like myself, go have sexual relations. However, they do SOMEWHAT effect decisions made afterwards and I don’t believe that they should put the idea in teen’s heads that it’s ok to do that if that was to happen to them.

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