There used to be a time when it was just normal to see a young teenage girl walking around either with a baby on her hip or one in the oven but, according to new information released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, teen pregnancy has hit an all time low.
In 2009, 410,000 girls age 15-19 gave birth in the US. That was a 37% decrease from 1991. In 1991, a astounding 61.8% of births per every 1,000 births were of a teen mother, compared to 2009 where 39.1% of births were to teenagers. While those numbers are extremely impressive, I must agree with Dr. Thomas R. Freiden, who is director of the CDC who said, “still far to many teens are having babies.”
It seems as though it has become an epidemic and somewhat fashionable for teens to be having babies. Sure, babies are cute and cuddly and give you unconditional love but, so does a puppy. And, puppies don’t keep you up all night, cost a small fortune to feed and clothes for 18 years, and take away your own childhood. I used to hate shows like Teen Mom on MTV but, having a daughter myself who is approaching the “teen years”, I kinda think they are doing a good job of showing young girls just how hard it is to raise a baby on your own and still be in high school. And it is hard and scary. My own daughter was born 6 months before I turned 20 years old and while I was out of high school and had a job and a lot of support, it was the hardest time of my life and I would never want my own daughter to have a child so young in life as I did.
Not only does having a child so young put an obvious financial burden on the mother and her parents, there is also a hold put upon your own life. That is something I don’t think a lot of girls realize, no matter how much you love your baby, your life stops for at least 5 years until your child begins school, then you can somewhat pick up again. But, you never get it back.
Two more statistics that really shocked me were that it costs taxpayers $9 billion dollars a year for all teen pregnancies. That money goes to welfare, state run insurance, food stamps, and other government funded programs to help teen mothers and their babies. And, this one don’t shock me really but, it should shock anyone thinking about becoming a teen mom. 88% of teenage fathers do not stay with their girlfriends, and only 5% of teen relationships where a child resulted lasted longer than 5 years. Shocking and so not worth it!Tags: CDC, MTV, Teen Mom, teen pregnancy