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According to 2015 statistics, a total of 229,715 babies were born to women between the ages of 15 and 19 years, for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women in this age group. Teen birth rates decreased from 2014 to 2015 for all races. Teen pregnancy is a large problem in today’s society, in which they face societal challenges that many will never go through. There are many effects that can occur being involved in teen pregnancy such as a delayed education, emotional crisis, and trouble with finances. Teen pregnancy can be influenced by numerous reasons such as peer pressure, parent-child communication and lack of knowledge. Many teens become a part of a sexual relationship under peer pressure even if they are not ready for one. Most teens’ reasoning in having sex is to display that they are “cool”, “sophisticated”, and wanting to fit in. Teen drinking is another cause that can lead to an unexpected pregnancy. Studies show that around 75% of teen pregnancies occur because of teenage drinking. The influence of the people around a teen to have sex is also a major factor. There are times where a teen may let her peers influence her decision in participating in sexual activity lacking the knowledge of the effects that can occur during the act. Sexual abuse also falls into peer pressure having the affect of friends making the teen visit hazardous places leading them to suffer from molestation which can cause teen pregnancy. Another cause in teen pregnancy is lack of parental guidance. Many parents find it hard to manage their work life and parent life so it makes it problematic to spend time with their child. Because of these situations, teens find it difficult to talk about her decision making and consequences she will suffer being involved in a sexual relationship. This mean that the teen is most likely going to go to her friends for her decision making steering them into choosing poor choices. It is important for a parent to build communication skills and a bond between the child to make them feel at ease. It is also important to comfort the teen with their emotions and help deal with peer pressure. There are many effects of teenage pregnancy and one of the most common effects are financial issues. Statistics state that teenage mothers are more likely to live in poverty and depend on public assistance. Teen mothers struggle with a lot of problems dealing with child care cost. It is required that a teen mother should be able to take care of minimum wage at least. This makes it hard for teen mothers that have jobs, but  do not earn enough to make minimum wage and take care of herself and her baby. Financial problems may also cause a burden on family leaving them to pay the cost that the teenage mother may not be able to afford. Another effect of having a teenage pregnancy is academic achievements. Statistics state that only 40 percent of teens mothers finish high school. Fewer than 2 percent finish college by age 30. Statistics also state that 34 percent young women who has been teen mothers earned neither a diploma nor a GED. With all the time it takes to care for a baby, teen mothers find it harder getting an education and having to put their child’s care first. Speaking with Dr. Lisa B. Spiryda about teen pregnancy prevention, she stated that “Teenage pregnancy rates have dropped each year which is a great thing, but it’s still not enough. There are a variety of ways teenagers can prevent pregnancy, but the number one prevention that will never having you guessing if you are pregnant or not is abstinence. Most teens find abstinence hard because during adolescence, you are your most curious, and your most pressured. As a teenager, sex is the “cool” and “makes you become a young man or woman.” She was also asked about teens already being sexually active and what could they do to prevent pregnancy. Dr. Spiryda responded saying “There’s a list of things you can do to your protect yourself, something as small as using a condom. Condoms are about 95% effective. It is also important for the female to use birth control, whether that’s taking the pill, or getting the Depo shot. Most females like to use the contraceptive pills because the side effects with the shots are more intense than with the pill. Lastly she was asked about a teen getting pregnant, what programs are available to help cope with it. She responded saying “A teen mother is never alone. Whether they have no family, or can’t afford taking care of a child, there’s always someone. There’s many programs in women’s centers which establish services to assist with teen mothers ages 13-19, having secondary education, career planning, and economic advancement.” This experience has helped me learn more in depth of struggles that teenage mothers would have to go through, and how hard it is to cope with. I have also learned that being a teen parent involves having dedication to sacrifice everything you used to do before you become a parent. It’s also a massive responsibility taking care of a baby while trying to have an education, even some dropping out because they don’t have the time to do both. Teen pregnancy is a very serious topic then what most people take it to be. I believe that our society should try to raise money to support teenage mothers by buying supplies that can stop teenagers from becoming pregnant. We can also start clubs that can encourage to stop teen pregnancy, and teach more about sexual education. Also, learning abstinence, but if sexually active, learning protect yourself is really important because you never know when becoming pregnant could happen to you when you least expect it. Lastly, I learned that is it important to have a bond with your parents so that you are comfortable with talking to them about sex, what you should do to prevent it, and if a teen becomes pregnant, how to cope it.

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