Teen Pregnancy: Forced Acceptance?

Should parents be punished if their teens become pregnant?

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In a very popular city in Texas, a local Wal-mart is the perfect location to see teenaged pregnancy. There are many teenagers walking around the city that are pregnant, or already have a child and one thing that this writer notices is, how no one seems to be bothered by it. It seems more common these days for a teenager to become pregnant, than an adult over the age of 23 for the first time. Most families are started at an extremely young age, before the age of 21 and marriages begin before the age of 21 and seem to end before age 25. The reason? Most marriage are started "for the child", and not for "love".

Though there are numerous reasons why a teenaged pregnancy cannot be prevented, the most common being rape, there are still moments where a teenager can decide not to get themselves into this position. A woman who is now twenty-seven, chose to be abstinent until she was 17. From age 17 until 23, every male she was with would be told to wear a condom, and she used birth control whether by pill, injection, or patch. It wasn't until she was married that she and her husband stopped using condoms, and even after that she stayed on birth control, and had her first child at age 27. These decisions were simple for her, she did not want to ruin her life at an early age. She wanted to go to college, and originally intended on waiting until marriage to lose her virginity. But hormones always have a way of making someone think differently. She never let a man pressure her into unprotected sex, and as such never contracted an STD as well. So why was it easier for her to make these decisions, than someone else?

Perhaps it's the parenting. In the Texas city written about above, there is a family observed in an apartment complex. In a 600 square foot apartment, there are 10 people living in it. Two adult females, two girls under the age of 5, one teenaged boy and the rest are teenaged and pre-teenaged girls. Every day, the children are overheard using profanity, screaming, yelling, fighting, and more importantly they are harassing and antagonizing their neighbors proudly. The mother of these children joins in with the harassment, she doesn't discipline them in any way, thinking instead the neighbors need to stop caring that they can hear her children using the "N" word over their own televisions and more. The youngest of the family is one of the teenaged girls' child, and she is rarely tended to properly. But this doesn't seem to be a big deal, it doesn't seem to matter to anyone. This family uses government aid for all the children including Food assistance, cash assistance, and more. So a question does arise: Is this accepted merely because the children are all bringing in "free aid"? Why wasn't this teenager on birth control, considering she has medicaid and can for free get the pill or even the injection?

If your daughter was aged 15 to 17 and came to you saying she was pregnant, how would you react? What if your son came to you saying his girlfriend was pregnant, how would you feel? Would you let the teenaged child keep the baby, or have them put it up for adoption? These days there are so many wanting to adopt, would you be willing to let a good family have a child? Or let your child raise a child? Why is the latter more common than the first? Why are more children raising children? Why aren't children being smarter and using birth control?

President Obama has announced recently that he intends to make birth control free for all women, and people as well as insurance companies are fighting this. Why? It isn't mandatory, so for religious purposes obviously you don't have to use it. But when a family of 10 has a baby by one of the children included in that number, shouldn't they be using it? Why do people think it's a bad idea to allow teenagers, women, and even possibly men use protection against pregnancy for free, when it can slow birth rates, slow the federal aid for welfare, food assistance, section 8, hud housing, and more?

Just a few thoughts...

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Comments 4 comments

dmcgaw profile image

dmcgaw 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

There are many reasons why teenagers get pregnant - I would dare to say as many reasons as there are pregnant teenagers. Does that mean that we should condemn them? Treat them like lepers? Until we find a way to give every single person in the world the same advantages, the same home life, the same education, I don't think it is our position to judge. Instead, let's give these teenagers that decide to keep their babies the support they need. Let's give their parents the support that they need to teach these young moms (and dads) how to be good parents. Let's help them learn how to beat the statistics of teenage parents.

That is exactly what I am doing for my teenage daughter and my beautiful granddaughter.


ejgilbert profile image

ejgilbert 4 years ago from Texas Author

I agree, it's why in the post I stated that there are many reasons it can't be prevented. The woman spoken of in the post was not raised with a lot of sexual education, birth control education, etc. She just chose that path on her own. So in a way I don't think it's all about the parents, the kids have the ability to choose their futures, and they can choose to be careful (when they are able to, again there are circumstances that don't permit it) or they can choose to be careless. But this is more so about the teens that don't seem to care about what has happened nor do their parents. The ones that are almost proud of what's happened to them when they're still children, and the parents who don't take responsibility for their own children who are having children.


Debbiestrange profile image

Debbiestrange 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

Teenagers are, most often, self centered and unable to cognitively realize the consequences of their actions. What matters most, for a teenager, is the here and now. That is one basic reason teenagers get pregnant. Another reason is the culture in which they are raised. Often, a kid that is born to a teenager grows up to be a teen parent as well. Unfortunately, this is an accepted social norm for those sub-cultures. Another reason is, the lack of sexual education. State run schools are limited in what they can teach minors so kids are getting only part of the story and are making up the rest; usually because of folklore that has been passed down from generation to generation. For example: Kids believe many untruths about getting pregnant, such as, "You can't get pregnant if you just had your period" or, "You can't get pregnant if you do it standing up" or, "You can't get pregnant if you pull out".

My personal belief is this: As parents we are responsible for protecting our kids from childhood diseases; we get them vaccinated and we teach them about stranger danger and social issues such as that. However, there is far too many parents who do not protect their kids from pregnancy because many think that putting a child (girl) on birth control is a permission slip to have sex. The somber fact is, they are going to have sex whether you protect them or not. Teenagers put more stock into what their peers think than what adults think.

When my daughter turned 14, I put her on birth control. She is 26 now and having her first baby, while at least 5 of her friends from school were pregnant before graduating high school. I was a teenage mother; I had graduated high school already, but still, pregnant at 18 is far too early. I think I did the right thing by protecting my kids. I bought condoms for my boys and explained how to use them and why they should use them. It is our responsibility to protect our kids and that is what I did.


brackenb profile image

brackenb 4 years ago

I'm from the UK and we have a massive rate of teenage and indeed, underage, pregnancies in this country. I think your comment on free aid certainly can influence the number of cases. I've also seen documentaries highlighting the number of daughters of teenage mums going on to be teenage mothers themselves. Is is a lack of education of what having a baby means - a baby is a life - for life, not something to be embarked upon lightly. Voted up.

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