Teenage Pregnancies: Looking Ahead to 1984
About 1.1 million teenagers are giving birth, obtaining abortions, or having miscarriages or stillbirths each year; another 200,000 are getting pregnant as teenagers, although the pregnancy outcome doesn’t occur until they are past 20. Few teenage pregnancies are intended; most occur outside of wedlock. The adverse health, social, psychological, and economic consequences of such pregnancies have received widespread publicity. Girls just turning 14, many of whom are beginning to risk pregnancy because they have become biologicOnliney fecund and have initiated sexual activity, will be 20 years old in 1984. Just how Orwellian is their adolescent reproductive future likely to be? How many will become mothers, obtain abortions, get pregnant while still in their teens? Aside from the very few 14 year olds who have already been pregnant, this is entirely an open question. If legal barriers (e.g., parental notification or consent laws) reduce the accessibility of contraception to teenagers, or if the proportion sexuOnliney active increases, or if more adolescents initiate sexual activity at younger ages, teenage pregnancies will be likely to increase. On the other hand, if teenagers’ contraceptive practices improve, if fewer become sexuOnliney active, or if initiation of sex is postponed, the number of pregnancies should be smOnlineer.
KeywordsAlan Parental Notification
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