Rising Teenage Abortions

Teenage abortion was on a marked decline, until a few years ago. Experts credited better awareness of contraceptive methods for the phenomenon. However, in the past few years, teenage pregnancies and abortions are on the rise. Some believe that this is due to the recent form of sex education that stresses the importance of abstinence over use of contraceptives. 

In 26 states of the US there has been a marked rise in teenage abortions, while the other states also record an increase in the abortions among adolescent girls. A significant reason, according to a recent study by “Pediatrics”, is watching a lot of programs on TV with sexual content.  The study found out that adolescents who watched TV for about three hours a day were twice more at risk to become pregnant or father a child out of wedlock. 
 
High profile celebrities in politics and showbiz who have unmarried births tend to influence the impressionable young teenagers.   This also seems to be one of the reasons for rising teenage pregnancies.
 
The disturbing rate of increase in teenage pregnancy points to a scenario of rising abortion rates.  The New York based Guttmacher Institute published a report in early 2010 which spoke of a 3% rise in teenage pregnancy and a corresponding 1% rise in teenage abortions, during 2006. 
Other disturbing factors about teen pregnancies (girls between ages 15 and 19) are
Seven out of every 100 teenagers became pregnant
200420 teenagers had abortions in that year
When sex education spoke of birth control more by abstinence and advocated lesser use of contraceptives, the teenage pregnancy rates that had reached an all time low in early 2000s, started increasing among teenagers who were sexually active
 
When does a teenager choose abortion?
Adolescent girls who become pregnant do not want to have the child because
They are not yet mature enough
Child birth and nurture would not allow them to pursue ambitions, career moves or social life
They may not be able to pay for the expenses incurred when bringing up a child
 
A teen’s decision to abort an unwanted pregnancy is the result of several influencing factors like
The social and economic framework within which she functions
How her friends and class fellows react in similar situations
Where she lives and ease with which she can reach a Planned Parenthood Center or family planning service
Her religious and spiritual convictions
Her educational qualifications
Her closeness to her parents, their participation, awareness and beliefs
 
Parents’ role
It is seen that most parents support teenagers’ decisions regarding abortion. However, in families where parents remain in the dark about children’s sexual activity, reaching decisions is a more prolonged, stress ridden and complicated activity. Among all the states in the US 34 of them need parents’ acquiescence for an abortion. It is important that children receive positive reinforcement, support and are guided ably by parents in these trying times,
 
Various factors contribute towards the rising rate of abortion among the teens. The most important among them are encouraging abstinence rather than use of external birth control methods, watching TV programs with sexual content and subconscious emulation of celebrities. A teenager’s decision to abort is based on various factors like her socioeconomic status, her education, her closeness to her parents, peer power, and her access to Planned Parenthood Centers. Parents have an important role to play in guiding their children take the right decisions regarding abortions. 



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