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Teenage pregnancy and abortion are heavily linked because teens who become pregnant may be more likely to have abortions than women who are older, married, and who have stable jobs or careers. Despite the pandemic of teen pregnancy in many industrialized nations, the numbers of young girls between the ages of 15 and 19 getting pregnant are not as high as statistics indicated in the late eighties and early nineties. Teens who become pregnant often feel pressured into having abortions by fear of ridicule, punishment, and other negative reactions to their pregnancies.
The risk for teenage pregnancy and abortion seems to be higher in young girls who are raised in single parent homes as well as those who were born to teen parents themselves. Minorities in the United States also have a higher incidence of teen pregnancy. These rates have been lowered in recent years through education on safe sex practices and abstinence. In many areas, condoms and other birth control methods are widely available, often free of charge.
Reasons for teenage pregnancy and abortion rates being as high as they are may vary based on the individual. Many teens lack the education needed to make good decisions. Others may not have the availability of birth control, or they may feel too embarrassed to take advantage of free birth control options. This also puts young men and women at an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
In many areas, it is illegal for any parent to force his or her child into having an abortion. Many young girls are not aware of this. They may feel pressure to have an abortion from their boyfriends, friends, or families. At other times girls will terminate a pregnancy before telling anyone about it for fear of ridicule or punishment.
Abortion is not something which should be done without serious thought. Although legal in many locations, it can have permanent effects on a young girl’s emotional health. Abortion should not be done out of fear, and pregnant teens are encouraged to speak with a trusted adult to discuss all options and possibilities. Adoption is also an option for most teens, as well as taking advantage of programs which aim to help teen mothers continue their educations through free childcare and parenting support. Those who do choose abortion should be given follow-up care, including counseling to discuss any feelings of guilt, sadness, anger, or remorse.
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