Friday, November 23, 2012

Keep them Barefoot and Pregnant!

Teenage (15-19) pregnancy rates dropped in the U.S. and, as of 2010 are estimated by the CDC at 34 percent in this 15-19 age group - or, nearly 400,000 teen pregnancies.  In the United Kingdom it's 24 per 1,000 girls. In traditionally Catholic Ireland, it's 16 and in Italy it's 5. France's rate is 7 per 1,000. Canada's rate is under 13, Sweden's is under 8, Japan's is about 5, and in the Netherlands it's close to 4.

The difference has been known for decades, as well as the reason for the difference: Birth control is less expensive and easier for teens to get in many other developed countries than in the United States. And teachers, parents and physicians tend to be more accepting of teenage sexuality and more likely to encourage use of contraception

In France, Germany, and the Netherlands, two things create greater, easier access to sexual health information and services for all people, including teens. They are: 1) societal openness and comfort in dealing with sexuality, including teen sexuality; and 2) pragmatic governmental policies. The result – better sexual health outcomes for French, German, and Dutch teens when compared to U.S. teens.  

In  2006, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate was almost 3 times that of France, Germany and the Netherlands and the birth rate in this group is nearly eight times higher in the U.S.  At the same time, the U.S. teen abortion rate is twice that of germany and 1.5 times the Netherlands rate of ten abortion.  Statistics gathered by Advocates for Youth.

Seems pro-lifers could drastically reduce abortions by examining what these other nations are doing to reduce the pregnancy rates. They are not preaching "just say no." Studies indicate that about 80 percent of sexually active teen girls in Sweden and about 88 percent in England and France use contraception. In the United States, it's about 61 percent.

So, our customs, religious beliefs, educational practices all lead to a high teen pregnancy rate. We restrict access to birth control and abortion....and now, we seem to be returning to the pre-1970-s when it comes to providing adequate education for pregnant teen and teen mothers.

California, for instance, slashed a successful program for such students in 2008, ruling it was no longer mandatory, and allowed school districts to use the money for other programs.
More than 100,000 pregnant and parenting students have participated in the program that helps them with classwork and connects them with social services. It boasted a 73 percent graduation rate in 2010 - close to the state's normal rate - and advocates said participants were less reliant on welfare and less likely to become pregnant again. That compares to several counties where only 30 percent of pregnant and parenting teens graduated.
"It's unfortunate that this effective program fell prey to the enormous budget challenges we are facing as a state," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Three years ago in Wisconsin, cost-cutting lawmakers dropped a requirement for school districts to give pregnant students who live within two miles of a school building free rides to school. The requirement had been part of an effort to improve access to education and reduce infant mortality rates.
Less than half of the states have programs that send home assignments to homebound or hospitalized student parents, according to the study.
In almost half of the states, including Idaho, Nevada, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah, the definition of excused absences is not broad enough to include pregnant and parenting students. That typically results in a patchwork of policies where some school districts don't excuse absences even if the student is in the hospital giving birth, according to the study. Read more here.


We hear a great deal of the social costs of single parenthood. Higher crime rates, increased welfare why do we as a nation insist upon restricting access to contraception and pregnancy termination, and even education rights for teen moms? We seem to do everything to create a problem we bemoan.

Could the real dirty little secret be that there is a silver lining in programs that actually foster and take advantage of the high fertility rate of this age group?  Let them get pregnant and deny them abortions and good schooling...gee, what other option is left?? Why, of course...they become breeders for the ever-increasing numbers of interfiles who delay childbirth, as well as same sex couples who have been added to the long queues for babies to adopt! 

The winner? The adoption industry! The practitioners and facilitators, attorneys and such whose livelihood depends on the redistribution of babies form the young and insolvent to the mature and financially stable!

How convenient to blame budget cuts to perpetuate a problem that costs states more in the long run, unless we do far more to convince to these winches to GIVE UP their kids to those "more deserving." But let's not put a finger in the hole in the dam and stop the floodgates of babies....let's do nothing that makes sense in terms of PREVENTION. Instead let's just maintain an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff to catch all those little bundles of joy and spread the joy to all the eagerly PAING customers!!  Yup, that's the ticket!  

After all, this IS America...the home of FREE ENTERPRISE AND CAPITALISM!  
What other nations see as a problem to prevent, 
we turn into a mega-billion dollar industry! 

Hip hip Hooray...U$A!! 



Stephanie said...

This is one sick, convoluted society we live in...

Anonymous said...

Problem is, there are those on public assistance that just see a new baby as an increased welfare check. Many teens WANT to get pregnant.

Mirah Riben said...

There are precious few who would have a child for an additional $60 a month in welfare! That's an old wives tale - an untrue urban legend. Corporate welfare is taking far more money from us than welfare moms!

As for teens intentionally becoming pregnant, there are a FEW who have been influenced by reality TV...but they too are the exception, not the rule.

But ask yourself why girls and young women don't do either of these behaviors in Europe?

Anonymous said...

It's not because of access issues to birth control that's for sure.

Mirah Riben said...

For American teens it is! yes, they could get rubbers but they cannot get an RX birth control or a morning after pill without parental consent. Rubbers break and ya' gotta get the GUY to use it!! Women are not safe without access to birth control that they can control.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

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