Teen Pregnancy By Chris Pozzato

Pregnancy affects millions of people. Nearly half of those people are teens. Each year, the numbers get lower and lower, but they are still high. For example, in 2014, there was an estimated 249,000 teen pregnancy cases. In fact, roughly 1 in 4 teens get pregnant before they are 20.


  • There was a 50% decrease in teenage pregnancies in the past 20 years. 75% of teen pregnancies are unplanned.
  • Without the publicly-funded family planning, the teen pregnancy rate would be up 73%.
  • In 2014, a total of 249,078 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women in this age group.
  • Teen birth rates declined from 2013 to 2014 for all races and for Hispanics. Among 15- to 19-year-olds, teen birth rates decreased 12% for American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), 11% for non-Hispanic blacks, 11% for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 9% for Hispanics, and 7% for non-Hispanic whites.
  • In 2010, teen pregnancy and childbirth accounted for at least $9.4 billion in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.
  • Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school dropout rates among girls.
  • Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school.
  • The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and to drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.

Questions answered:

Throughout the year, people will contact and ask me questions about pregnancy. Here is one that someone that would like to remain anonymous asked me recently:

Anonymous: Hi Dr. Chris. My sister just found out she was pregnant last week, and I was wondering for myself, how can practicing abstinence as a teenager affect my ability to live a healthy life?

Dr. Chris: Well, anonymous, practicing abstinence can help you in many ways. Firstly, it can help keep you protected from STD's. A person should only have a child if they are ready to emotionally, financially, and physically. Financially, the person would need to make sure they have enough supplies like money and food to take care of a child. Practicing abstinence can save you thousands of dollars each year. Emotionally, they should be emotionally stable and have a good environment to raise a child in. That too could save hundreds of dollars. And finally, it could help you physically because having a child puts an incredible strain on a person's body. Abstinence would save some body the trouble of having to deal with that strain.

How Teenage Pregnancy Could Effect Me:

Teenage pregnancy could effect me in many ways. One way it could effect me is through my life goals. A life goal of mine is to go to a prestigious college, such as MIT. If I had to deal with a teenage pregnancy issue, I may not have enough money to attend a college like that. This could effect another one of my goals- get a good job. I can't get a good job if I haven't gone to college. Another way teenage pregnancy could effect my is by effecting my hobbies. I like to collect rocks and visit new places.These are some of my hobbies. If I had a teenage pregnancy issue, than I would be unable to do these hobbies. This is how it would effect my goals and hobbies.


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