Some may call teenage pregnancy an epidemic of a declining culture, others may just see it as a sign of changing times. However, with every coming month, more and more teens and young women under 20 in America are confronted with the tough decisions that come with pregnancy well before they are prepared to step into the roles of single parent, birth mother or stepping into an abortion clinic and terminating the pregnancy.
Over the last few decades, teen pregnancy was on a decline. In 2006, however, the number of pregnant teens increased for the first time since 1990. About 7 percent of all women between 15 and 19 became pregnant in 2006, according to a Guttmacher Institute report published in January 2010. Only a year prior, the national teen pregnancy rate was at the lowest it had been in 30 years and every state, except North Dakota, saw a decline in teen pregnancy between the late 1980s and 2000, according to the same report.
Fortunately, society has come a long way in the last 30 years regarding the open discussions of teenage pregnancy. Reality television shows have taken behind-the-scene looks at the kind of lifestyle a pregnant teen may have, shedding light on a topic that was once taboo and taken to great lengths to cover up with maternity homes and the likes. There is still a shameful stigma that comes with being under 20 and pregnant, however, there is more support available to these women in the form of counseling for the consequences of the options a woman has to deal with an unplanned pregnancy: abortion, adoption for becoming a single mother. Birth mothers can play a decision-making role in the placement of a child with adoptive parents. She will be provided birth mother counseling and reserves the right to make her own decision regarding the pregnancy and what the future holds for herself and the child.
To put things in perspective, geographically, the Guttmacher Institute reports that the states with the highest rates for teenage pregnancy are New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Mississippi. Those with the lowest rates are New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota. Over half of teenage pregnancies end in abortion in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
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