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The Epidemic Of Teens Abortion

Aug 17, 2007
Teens abortion has been declining over the last several decades. In the 1970s, the rate of teens abortion went up, but this rate stabilized in the 1980s. Since the 1980s, teens abortion rates have declined considerably, especially in the 1990s. The rate of teens abortion was about 26.5 in 1000 teenagers as of 1990, but this was reduced by 45% to only 14.5 per 1000 teens in 2000.

The incidence of a teens abortion depends greatly on their race. A teen who is black is more likely to have an abortion than a white teen or a Hispanic teen. There are 14.8 abortions per 1000 white teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19, and 30.3 per 1000 Hispanic teens. However, there are 57.4 abortions per 1000 black teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19.

The older a teenager gets, the more likely she is to have an abortion if she becomes pregnant unexpectedly. 14.5 per 1000 teens between the ages of 15 and 17 have an abortion. Only 0.9 per 1000 teens under the age of 15 have an abortion. But a whopping 37.7 per 1000 teens between 18 and 19 have abortions.

The reasons teenagers have abortions vary as greatly as the reason why adults have abortions. Mostly, a teens abortion results from an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy. Teens often feel that they are too young to become parents. Or, sometimes they feel that an unplanned pregnancy will greatly interfere with their social life. Sometimes a teens abortion can be because she wants to complete her education and go on to college. Many teens are concerned about the financial difficulties a child brings. Social factors that cause a teen to seek abortion can be related to religious upbringing, family concerns, and cultural stigma.

The medical effects of teenage parenthood can be considered even more detrimental to the teenager than abortion itself. There is a high incidence of premature birth in teenage girls, and of low birth weight. Bad nutritional habits on teenage girls can take a toll on the fetus. Malnutrition due to efforts at weight loss during pregnancy including but not limited to starvation, purging, and dieting cause problems not only with the mother, but also with the unborn child. There are often complications with the births of children to teenage girls, and in developed countries this can usually be remedied by cesarean section. However, in underdeveloped countries, complications such as eclampsia and obstetric fistula are possibilities. Also, the rate of infant mortality and maternal mortality are much greater in teen pregnancies.
About the Author
Azzam Sheikh
Facilitator 'Strengthening families, strengthening communities' parent programme.

pregnancy resource center
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