Are there more pregnant teens than ever before?
6.4% of unmarried teenage girls aged 15-19 (166,000) are pregnant or have been pregnant in the past 12 months, according to Eighty20. (GHS 2010) That figure may appear a little abstract, but think for a moment about the implications of such a statistic.
There are 166 000 direct families dealing with this- far more, if you include the fathers of these babies. Given that families’ reactions range from supportive to hostile, there are girls all over South Africa who are struggling to deal with the challenges of being pregnant on the cusp of adulthood.
Apart from the emotional reactions to a pregnancy announcement, there are other direct consequences, such as the continued ability of a pregnant teen to attend school or other forms of education and the interruption caused to fledgling careers. The economic impact is significant, and, depending on support systems, could have an impact on the quality of life for these young moms and their children for years to come.
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Why do you think so many teens are having babies?
By: Scott Dunlop