Teen Pregnancy Hits Teens Hard

by  , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Looking down at the plastic applicator, two pink lines were clearly visible.

“Mom, I am pregnant.” Those might be the worst words a parent could hear from their teen daughter.

According to the U.S Office of Public Health and Science, one in three girls in the United States is estimated to get pregnant before the age of 20.

Teen pregnancy hits teens hard.

“Getting pregnant at the age of 15 can really create an emotional crisis,” said Victoria Jones, a Chicago Public High School student. “Most time some teens feel ashamed.”

Teen pregnancy also can be hard on teen fathers. The pregnancy can strain their relationship with their girlfriend.

“When I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant, we immediately started fighting and a week later I never saw him or heard from him again,” Victoria said, tears swelling up in her eyes.

Women, no matter what age, have options once they become pregnant.

Choosing the option that is best for the situation is hard to do. Women can decide to keep the child, give the child up for adoption or have an abortion.

These choices are difficult.

Adoption is hard because a mother carries that child for nine months. Giving a child up to someone unknown may be the hardest thing for a pregnant woman to go through.

Especially for pregnant teens, the dilemma is not easy.

Victoria explained her situation: “I decided to keep my baby because I felt I had to take on the responsibility of my actions, even though I knew it was going to be so hard for me and my entire family. I didn’t have a job, my boyfriend left me and my mom was so angry she kicked me out of the house. I couldn’t sleep at night because the worries of where I would find the money and support to raise my child were driving me crazy.”

“I knew I couldn’t give my baby up for adoption. I had grown so close to him over the months, and living with the fact that I chose to let my unborn child die would have haunted me for the rest of my life,” Victoria told me.

The problem with teens that have babies, however, is that they tend to drop out of high school before they graduate, which makes their situation even more difficult.

Receiving a high school diploma is necessary in today’s society if one wants to get a job or go on to college.

“Before having my baby, I was lucky enough to move in with my grandma because she wanted me to finish high school. I know I am lucky because I have too many friends that didn’t get that opportunity and are struggling to make it day to day,” Victoria said.

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