Parenthood is no easy thing. Some people prefer to live their lives to the fullest during their twenties to their early thirties before settling down and start building a family of their own. It does not just allow them to enjoy everything that life has to offer but gives them time to save up and prepare for whatever family life entails, most especially when it comes to their finances. Yet over the past decade, we’ve seen a rise in teenage pregnancy. Young girls in their teens know so little about the implications of engaging in premarital sex that they fail to use any type of contraception and just enjoy doing the deed itself until they end up getting pregnant.
Then, there is the power of social media and the Internet that shows them things they aren’t supposed to see or know at their young age. Meanwhile, some girls are victims of sexual abuse and violence and end up getting pregnant too. Yet over the past few years, we have seen a considerable reduction in teenage pregnancies in different parts of the globe. Kids perhaps know better now that even if they engage in premarital sex, they take the proper precautions to prevent any unwanted pregnancy. And it also helps that they have already seen a lot of young girls and teens struggle with being a young mom and that they are often left by their partners to fend for themselves and the kids that have taught young girls today to wisen up and protect themselves from getting pregnant accidentally.
According to a five-year study, the county’s rate for pregnancies between 15 and 19 years of age has decreased by 17.7 percent since 2010. Altogether, there were 27 teen pregnancies locally in 2015. This means that Ashe County is ranked No. 28 out of 100 counties statewide. The report also found that 25.9 percent of these women fell under the category of “Repeat Pregnancies.”
Additionally, 91.3 percent of these pregnancies were documented by 18 or 19 year olds. Six girls between the age of 15 and 17 were also pregnant during this same time period.
In terms of sexual health, there were 25 confirmed cases of Chlamydia from all reported ages in 2015.
Neighboring Watauga County reported 18 teen pregnancies in 2015. Wilkes County had 92 confirmed pregnancies that year and 167 cases of Chlamydia and eight cases of Gonorrhea. Additionally, Wilkes had one new HIV case.
Ashe County is not alone in its quest to curb teenage pregnancy.
Teen pregnancy and childbearing are at historic lows and there has been impressive progress on both fronts in all 50 states.
Sex education at schools all over the world has also helped raise awareness on the problem with teenage pregnancies and have taught girls many things they need to know about before getting intimate with boys. While adults can’t always stop young boys and girls from doing the deed because parents don’t always get to see their kids 24/7, they can at least use some type of protection themselves and save them both from a costly mistake that can change the course of their lives forever.
In fact, since the last peak in teen pregnancies in 2007, the birth rate for all American teenaged girls has dropped by almost half — 42 percent. And that includes teens of all races and backgrounds.
A 2016 nationwide study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teens increased use of contraceptives, use of multiple contraceptive methods and use of more effective contraceptives has accounted for most of the decline in teen pregnancies.
So, if you were Tom Price, the new secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, why would you want to eliminate funding for Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Programs nationwide by the end of June of 2018, two years early? The official reason given for the end of federal funding is “very weak evidence of the positive impact of these programs.”
Just when we are finally seeing good results from educating the youth about the woes of teenage pregnancy, we get slammed in the face by news of more government funding cuts from the new administration and it would likely also include the federal budget for teenage pregnancy education. Many are already alarmed at the possible implications if this initiative does push through as the youth these days need to be educated about these things since they are exposed to numerous things and issues they should still be shielded from since they are basically still minors.