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Under age, under pressure

Teen Pregnancy letters

Teen Pregnancy letters

May 06, 2006

Editor's note: On March 17, The Herald-Mail asked area teens to tell us why the Washington County teen pregnancy rate is so high. We were puzzled because it seems that although teens have access to a lot of birth-control information, many of them fail to use it to avoid become parents. Below are some of the responses we received, with the help of the Washington County school system, the Washington County Family Center and Girls Inc.

Previous teens' letters were printed in this section on Sunday, April 30.

For more information on this topic, please visit www.teenpregnancy. org .

From my point of view, the reason why I think teen pregnancy is so high is that teens are not educated enough on where and how to receive protection. The question is: Why do the teens have to pay for the protection? It should be free; if they wanted the teen pregnancy rate to be low I would think they would give protection away, not sell it!

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Yeah, true, some health clinics give them away but not all teens have the luxury of a car, or a way to get there. Also, about the health clinics, teens don't want to tell their parents that they are sexually active. Another good factor leading to teen pregnancy being so high I think, is peer pressure. Teens talk to teens and brag about how fun it is.

I don't think they take into consideration the consequences they will suffer if the female gets pregnant. For example, the cost of formula is almost $3 a bottle, the amount of time it takes for caring for a baby and being there is 24/7. In that case, it also will interfere with your school work. There is a possibility that you will have to drop out.

Where will that take you in the future? Nowhere but a job at the local McDonald's making minimum wage. Once again, I believe teens need to be thought about and jammed with this information until they can't stand it anymore. Maybe then they will wake up and realize what they are getting themselves into. It's not worth it. Wait until you are older. High teen pregnancy rates all relate back to the following factors I have mentioned above and once again, it is not worth it.

- Woodrow

I think teen pregnancy is so high because maybe their friends are having sexual intercourse. Or that the boy is pushing her to do things and maybe she doesn't want to. Or they like the boy a lot and just want to.

- Emily, 14

I think because the boys always look at the girls who are wearing skirts, a belly shirt and think they will give it away. I know a girl in the eighth grade who already had sex and is having a baby. I think it's mostly the parents' fault, because they let the girl go out of the house and have sex and come in very late.

- Ashley, 11

I think the rates are so high in Washington County because they are seeing too many videos and also because the mom and dads are not watching them. The rates are so high because all these girls are not going to school. But I think that once you do it, there is no going back. And that is why I think girls are getting pregnant so fast.

- Tiffany, 12

I think teen pregnancy is horrible. You should wait until you are married to have kids. I have a friend and she is sexually active. She is only 13. I try to talk to her about it, but she denies it all. She tells me that she isn't loved by anyone, so I guess she thinks this is the only way to feel loved. I think a lot of people think like this.

I also don't like when teens get pregnant and have an abortion. It's not right. The only exception to that is getting raped.

- Marissa, 14

The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually

A reason I believe to be a big cause of teen pregnancies is lack of communication between the teens and their parents/guardian. Parents are a child's number one influence as they grow older. If the teens parents/guardians had unprotected sex or a teen pregnancy, it increases the teen'schances because the child oftentimes looks up to their guardians. If proper communication was not involved about having sex, teens are more inclined to have sexual intercourse. If the parents do talk to their child about having sex, but don't talk about using contraception and so forth, this also makes a large impact on the teen pregnancy birth rate.

While teens are going though puberty, their hormones are raging and teens may not even think of using some type of contraception while having sexual intercourse. This is also lack of communication from school systems, parents or even the television, which is a large influence to teens.

Many teenage girls face peer pressure to have sexual intercourse through their teen years. They say about four out of every 10 girls have sex that was "unwanted" or "forced."

Alcohol may also play a major role in adolescent pregnancies. While both partners are under the influence, teens may not realize what they are exactly doing, which may lead to unprotected sex.

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