In Sacramento today one of the biggest talks of the town is teen pregnancy. When I walked around my school with my friends freshman year, everyone was just in couples and kissing was the only thing teens did, but as we got older we would look at those same couples and notice that some of the girls were gaining some weight. Then the girls wouldn’t even be at school. Soon their boyfriend would be talking about how he has to get a job.

The one thing that really speaks out is all of these kids carelessly have unsafe-sex and end up with a baby, which results in approximately 425,000 births, 215,000 abortions and 110,000 miscarriages nation-wide. Nearly 750,000 teens became pregnant in the United States in 2002. More than 10% of teen births nationwide, numbering 50,000 in 2002, took place here in California. Its rate of 96 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 was well in excess of the national rate of 84 per 1,000. Some of these teens may just want to handcuff each other so that they will never leave each other not knowing nearly 80% of the teen fathers do not marry the teen mothers of these children. Furthermore, only 30% of teen mothers who do marry after their child is born remain in those marriages. Teen pregnancy is closely linked to single parenthood, and the growth in single parent families remains the most important reason for increased poverty among children.

Based on this and other demographic changes, the California Department of Finance now predicts a 23% increase in the number of teen births by 2008. Of the total number of teen pregnancies in the 15-19 year age group, about 65% involve 18-19 year olds and 35%, 15-17 year olds. At this young age research shows that children born to single mothers are more likely to drop out of school, to give birth out-of-wedlock, to divorce or separate, and to be dependent on welfare. Less than 40% of teen mothers that begin their families before age 18 ever earn a high school diploma. Less than three percent of teens who give birth are willing to relinquish their child for adoption. This decision is not at all in the child’s best interests since teen mothers are almost always forced to raise their children in impoverished, single-parent homes. Some research suggests that teen fathers, the other victims of teen pregnancy, have lower levels of education and, in turn, 10-15% lower annual earnings than teens that do not father children.

Thinking that they are old enough to have a baby, the teen mother does not know that children born to teen mothers are 30% more likely to be a low birth weight baby and have a 50% higher rate of infant mortality than children born to mothers over 20 years old. The teen mother also doesnt know pregnant teens experience greater emotional stress and are more frequent users of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs compared to other pregnant women, behaviors that are associated with low birth weight. Because of severe budget challenges currently facing California, state funding for existing teen pregnancy prevention and reproductive health programs are at risk, so it is our job to get the word out that teens should just wait for pregnancy or just have protected sex, be apart of the change Sacramento show all of your young teens this article.