Teenage Pregnancy Alters the Future


Teenage couple shocked by the pregnancy test.

Phillip Lemus, Staff Writer

Teenagers these days aren’t getting pregnant as much, and for good reasons. Teenagers who accidentally get pregnant during their high school years usually never finish their education, and thus never receive their high school diploma. These teenage mothers now have to raise their children in poverty as a result, and the sad fact of the matter is that the decision of making a baby is usually never completely planned out.

Fortunately, since 1990, teenage pregnancy rates have fallen steadily. However, the pregnancies that have happened since then were unplanned 82% of the time. For better or worse, an unwanted pregnancy can permanently alter a woman’s future, considering that she might’ve had future career plans. For instance, imagine yourself wanting to go to a good college, buy a new car, invest in a new apartment, and having goals for a long, successful life, and then getting abandoned by a man that didn’t feel the need to use protection. Then all your future goals disappear. Worse over, you’d probably be poor and your child would probably be born in a dangerous, and unsafe, environment. Granted, raising a child may be one of the most unique experiences for a woman and that you’d raise your child to redeem your spouse’s past mistake, or that you may be a good parent for your child and taught them well, but that’s not always the outcome, especially for a teenage mother who hasn’t fully grown up themselves.

A pregnant teenage belly.

Truth is, though, not enough teens have access to certain contraception options, such as the Pill. So additional options, such as Progestin injections, vaginal rings, condoms, and emergency pills (plan B/morning after pill), can help decrease the odds of an accidental pregnancy. Furthermore, for men options regarding protection and prevention include a vasectomy or condoms.  Also, adults should be better at teaching their children to not take that life-changing risk of childbirth; they should teach them that if they do have to have sex, then they should use whatever preventative measures they can to not get pregnant.

A teenager worried about the results of a pregnancy test.

This journalist went out to get feedback from real high school teenagers to get their thoughts on the issue. I spoke with “Samantha,” a freshman at BCCHS, and asked her about her thoughts on this important, but very taboo subject. Starting a family, for Samantha, might be a possibility for her, though maybe much later on in life. She said that being pregnant now in life would mean that she’d have to not focus on her education, and put all of her energy into her children. She wouldn’t want her child to live in California, surprisingly so, because in her words, Los Angeles is super dangerous and people just aren’t as mindful of others when they’re driving in all of L.A.’s traffic. Contraception is a MUST, if she wants to have sex. She stated that if she can’t get that chance to finish her high school education, then she would have just lost most of those opportunities for a better life for both her and her (possible) child. If she actually did get pregnant, then she said that she’d have to drop out of high school, though she thinks she might be able to finish up school later on in life. The sad part of the whole thing is that when she was asked why she may or may not have sex, she said that it would pretty much be because of peer pressure.

Shannon Fidel, a senior at BCCHS, was also interviewed about this topic, and actually wants to have a family in the future, yet only with a stable job to provide for her children. She wants to go to medical school and be a pediatrician in the future. For Shannon, being pregnant now would make her life a little more challenging, and would be a lot more stressful since she’d want to go to college in the future. She wants her children to live in a safe, friendly environment that allows them to be themselves and to be happy.

Contraception is also a must, because she states that she’d want to know that her partner is willing to be committed to her before making that decision of having a kid. Shannon doesn’t know if her parents would really have an opinion on the idea of being pregnant, and most parents of teenage girls would rather dismiss the whole conversation, but in the case that a teenager actually does get pregnant — and you can’t deny the possibility of a pregnancy to actually happen — most parents probably don’t know what to do and teenage girls most likely would have to handle the situation on their own. Point being, parents should at least talk to their kids about this, because you should have some knowledge of what you’re doing and act on that knowledge. Shannon states that she would want to have her career to start before having a baby. If she actually did get pregnant at this time, abortion would be a decision that she’d consider, only because if she wants a baby, her career should come first. It wouldn’t be easy to juggle between being a mother and studying for medical school. When asked if she’d have sex, she stated,” I would have sex only if I felt comfortable with myself.”

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Having children is one of the most delightful experiences in a lifetime; at the same time, having children during your teen years is such a consuming burden for the parent since their entire lives are literally altered from that point forward. Everyone has their own unique stance on having children, so teenagers must try their best to use protection to avoid a life-changing alternate. It wouldn’t be fair for the girl if it meant she’d have to get an abortion or have to care for the child because of personal or family reasons. That’s just not the situation that you’d think about when you’re having sex or about to have sex. It may or may not feel like a gamble in continuing, but it’s also not a decision that someone should have to think about when they’re trying to figure out their future in life.