An article in Time magazine by Kathleen Kingsbury (2008) stated, “As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies – more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200 student school had last year.” In today’s society young girls are becoming pregnant at a faster rate than ever before. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease control and Prevention (2008) “About one-third of girls in the United States get pregnant before age 20. In 2006, a total of 435,427 infants were born to mothers aged 15-19 years, a birth rate of 41.9% live births per 1,000 women in this age group.” Another survey from The Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP) (2007) says “…half of all pregnancies are unintended, but among teenagers, the proportion is higher – 80 percent.”
The teenage population is no longer concerned about becoming single parents. It is a normal occurrence to see a pregnant teenage girl walking around in high schools all over the United States. With teen pregnancy on the rise, so are the options for what a teen girl could do once she becomes pregnant. The choice a teenage girl makes, in regards to her unwanted pregnancy, may depend on several factors in her life: religious views, her socio-economics status, and how her geographical location will affect her options in regards to the availability of services offered in her area. Religious views apply to what the teenager is raised to believe in. The teenager will need to look deep inside herself to decide what choice she will make in regards to an unwanted pregnancy. An article in The Progressive (Coale 1995) quotes Minister Jean Stewart Berg, an all options reproductive counselor, as saying, “‘everyone’s pro-life until they're faced with the decision,’ she adds. ‘There's a reality test that comes with hearing the three words: you are pregnant.’" Therefore even religious people realize there is a tough decision that these teenagers have to make.
Low socio-economic status is a large factor for teenage pregnancy. Examples would include such things income level, education completed, and the area she lives in. One study (Raneri & Wiemann, 2007) states “‘adolescent pregnancy is a serious public health problem in the United States. When compared with older mothers, adolescent mothers disproportionately suffer from limited education and low socioeconomic status.’ They included examples such as ‘… (e.g., individual, dyad, family, peer/community and social system)’ in this study they determined ‘…evaluation of social contextual characteristics commonly cited as predictors of repeat pregnancy, including race or ethnicity and low socioeconomic status.’” Not only do low socio economics affect a teenager’s first pregnancy, it also plays a role in the outcome of repeat pregnancies. “‘Logistic regression analyses used to determine predictors of repeat pregnancy within 24 months’ stated that ‘Forty-two percent of adolescent mothers experienced a repeat pregnancy within 24 months; 73% of these delivered a second child.’” (Raneri & Wiemann, 2007)
The geographical location applies to the area in which the pregnant teen lives and the services offered in that particular area. Consideration includes if the pregnant teen is from a large city where she might have several different locations to choose from or if she is from a rural area and the closest clinic is fifteen miles away. Guttmacher Institute (2006, September) reported “In general, states with the largest numbers of teenagers also had the greatest number of teenage pregnancies...” Therefore they found that in the cities there is more teenage pregnancy than in rural areas. Teenagers in rural areas tend to have fewer options in regards to unwanted pregnancies than teenagers in large cities. Teenage girls are scared to tell their parents about the pregnancy, therefore the teenagers that become pregnant before…