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Teenage Pregnancy - Essay Example

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Advance Practice nurses play a central role in meeting the health care needs of pregnant teenagers. As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in the Department of Obstetrics in our hospital, this writer is confronted regularly by the unique challenges of the pregnant adolescent in day to day practice…
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Teenage Pregnancy
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Download file to see previous pages There has been a growing agony regarding the problem of teenage pregnancy and early parenthood, since it is acknowledged that these lead to poor educational achievement, poor physical and mental health, poverty, and social isolation for both the parents, especially the mother and the children. Teenage pregnancy carries high costs in terms of both social and economic health of both mothers and their children. This paper will introduce the historical background of this epidemic, focusing on the controversy that encompasses the topic of public school sex education. Then, policy goals and options will be critically discussed. , in an attempt to analyze this issue, this paper will conclude with an evaluation of this policy and recommended solutions regarding the problem of teen pregnancy overall (Hoyt, HH and Broom, BL., 2002).
Among the industrialized nations, the United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted disease. Publicly, the religious right had had a tremendous influence over the formation of federal policy in regards to teen sex education since the Reagan Administration in the 1980's. Since this time, the federal government has taken a rigid stance that the only allowable form of sex education is solely abstinence (Hampton, T., 2008). Morally speaking, the focus of federal policy is on preventing sexual conduct prior to marriage, which ignores the morality of trying to prevent teens from gaining the knowledge that could protect them from both disease and unwanted pregnancies (Dinan, J., 2008). Numerous people often question the ethics regarding this public policy. Teenage pregnancy carries high costs in terms of both the social and economic health of mothers and their children. Economically, teen pregnancy is an enormous drain on American society, as the responsibility of parenting a child often prevents young mothers from completing their basic high school education. Only one-third of pregnant teen mothers manage to complete high school and only 1.5 percent obtains a college degree by the age of thirty, while close to 80 percent of all single teenage mothers rely on welfare for support (Kelly, K and Grant, L., 2007). Thirty-four percent of teenage girls in America get pregnant at least one time prior to reaching the age of twenty (Horgan, RP and Kenny, LC., 2007). Thus far by law, abstinence-only sex education programs are mandated to eliminate educating complete, medically accurate information (Kohler, PK, Manhart, LE., and Lafferty, WE., 2008). Educators are prohibited by law from following research and public opinion supporting comprehensive sex education, regarding tactics that actually work in a positive manner to prevent teen pregnancy and lower STD rates (Rose, 2005, p. 1207).
The most influential stakeholder group on this issue is the religious right. Rose (2005) makes it very clear that this group represents only 10 percent of the adult American population. A 2004 report, "Public Support for Comprehensive Sexuality education, "reveals that 93 percent of parents of junior high school students and 91 percent of parents of high school students indicate support for comprehensive sex ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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