Though teen pregnancy has been on the decline, the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among western industrialized countries. Recent reports on the subject have been confusing. For example, in late 2008 the Centers for Disease Control reported that teen birth rates have increased in many states. Many people automatically jumped to the conclusion that teen pregnancy rates are rising as well, but the increase in birth rates may simply indicate that more teen moms are opting for adoption instead of abortion.
Still, you’ve probably heard it said that if we solve the teen pregnancy problem, we solve much of the abortion problem. While that’s true, there are two distinctly different approaches to dealing with the issue of teen pregnancy.
The personal purity, or abstinence, approach is approaches all persons and relationships with dignity. Its sets quality expectations for keeping emotions under control, setting physical boundaries in relationships, and making a commitment to save sex for marriage.
The “Anything Goes” approach
This approach basically says that teens and adults are animals that are unable too control sexual impulses and behavior. This approach says to do what you want, just try to “protect” yourself in the process. Sadly, this demeaning approach to personal behavior just dumps fuel on the teen pregnancy fire and leads to unintended pregnancies, really sick STDs, heartaches and more.
Sex has consequences
Teen sex leads to teen pregnancy. And although it’s the girl who is normally the focus of teen pregnancies, it’s not just girls who face consequences. The effects of teen parenthood follow the young fathers and their children throughout their lives.
What can be done?
You hear about teen pregnancy in movies, in the news, at school and from your parents. You know it’s not a good idea to get pregnant when you’re still a kid yourself. You know that teen pregnancy leads to all sorts of problems, to abortions, and to more. You know there is a better way.
So why are so many teens still getting pregnant? And what can you do about it?
Let’s start be getting to know the facts, know the facts.