I am of belief that some of the country’s’ or region’s problems can be assessed by the education advertisement on buses. Few years ago, I saw an advertisement on teen pregnancy in southern part of the US, which said “but mommy he said he loved me” and punch line was fall in love but don’t get pregnant. This news is not about the US but about Australia, where rise in teenage pregnancy has triggered government to put forth programs for teen age pregnancy.
Latest data reports that the teenage pregnancy in Australia has been rising and the number of births to teenage mothers has increased by 10 percent after steady decline for decades
- The number of Victorian teenage mothers in 2008 was 12,326, up 7.7 percent from 2007.
- New South Wales got the biggest jump, 15 per cent, with the number of teen mothers rising from 2788 to 3226.
- Nationally, the teenage fertility rate for the period has risen by 8.1 per cent.
Patricia Weerakoon, co-ordinator of the University of Sydney’s graduate program in sexual health, said teenagers have become sexually active at earlier age and hence are liable for sexually transmissible illnesses and unplanned pregnancies.
How does teenage pregnancy in Australia compare to other countries?
If you compare the rise...
of Australia’s teenage pregnancy, which is ~17 teens per 1000, with other countries, still it is on lower side. For instance
- US at 51 per 1000;
- Britain- 27 per 1000
- New Zealand- 26 per 1000
But it is higher than many European countries:
- Germany at 10 per 1000
- France at eight per 1000; and
- The Netherlands at four per 1000.
Juliet Richters, of the University of NSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine said that “Teenagers, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, needed more information about sexual health.”
There may be various reasons for this increased rise in pregnancy including some teenagers have committed relationship and want to have babies. None-the-less, there should be every effort to educate teenagers about risks of un-protected sex and of responsibilities of having a child. The fact is there is certain age at which women’s body is ready for pregnancy/child birth, prior to that she might be inviting long term health risks.