The Issue of Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States

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The Issue of Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States


The issue of adolescent pregnancy is of concern to the US policymakers because of its effects. It is considered an urgent issue in modern American society because a number of lives have been lost through illegal abortions and neglect. The major risks associated with adolescent pregnancy include health problems, increase in school dropouts, reduced career aspirations, and poverty.

The issue of adolescent pregnancy has been of concern to the extent of formulating policies aimed at empowering single mothers. In this article, the history of adolescent pregnancy is addressed amicably. Furthermore, the article analyzes the causes of adolescent pregnancy, as well as its consequences. Scholars note that teenage pregnancies are in the decrease in the United States. However, adolescent pregnancy is a social phenomenon that should be addressed with urgency. Statistics show that at least one million teenagers become pregnant each year.


The US is the leading country among industrialized states in terms of adolescent pregnancies. Out of ten pregnancies recorded, four occur in women below twenty years. National statistics prove that women below fifteen years become pregnant each year. Teenage pregnancies affect the economy of the country in a number of ways.

For instance, adolescent mothers rely on the government and other non-governmental organizations for basic services, such as healthcare and medication. Teen mothers face serious social challenges, including increased school dropouts. Mothers below fifteen years rarely complete high school while mothers below twenty years rarely proceed to colleges.

Adolescent Pregnancy in Early America

It is factual that teenage pregnancy has been an issue of concern for the last two centuries yet policymakers have placed much focus on the issue in the last two decades. The issue of pregnancy in the previous decades was not discussed in the public due to the skewed societal structure. Since the 1970s, scholars started conducting research to establish the prevalence of the problem in society.

In native societies, such as the Puritan society, a teenager was allowed to carry a pregnancy at any age because it showed maturity and readiness to take up feminine responsibilities. During colonialism, teenage pregnancies were considered economic hazards because of limited resources. The church mistreated adolescent mothers because they were considered immoral.

In this case, teenage mothers were forced to marry the old men who were divorced or widowed. In the 19th century, there was a decline in teenage pregnancies because of the influence of the church. The church urged young individuals to exercise self-control and self-discipline. In the early 20th century, women were ensured that they marry before they could give birth. The problem was serious because some teenagers were forced to drop out of school to avoid stigmatization and shame (Sawyer, Pinciaro, & Anderson-Sawyer, 1998).