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Teen Pregnancy

On average, 700 girls are impregnated each year in The Bahamas. Twenty percent of these teen mothers have another child while they are still in their teens according to the president of the PACE Foundation, Sonia Brown. We are urging citizens to take a stand and educate our children about contraceptives and the irresponsibility and lack of knowledge that leads to teenage pregnancy.

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Most teens that have children find it harder to become a part of the work force because their time is more focused on their child.

They are less prepared to enter the working world because they are ill prepared due to being forced to be adults at a young age. Thus, not completing school in most instances. When they enter the Job market these teens need assistance with day care and other services that they are often unable to afford due to their minimum wage Jobs that they barely qualify for. Unplanned teenage pregnancies can lead to higher high school dropout rates, higher rates of single parenthood, and lowering scores in math and reading.

Stopping teenage pregnancy requires a hands-on connection between parents and hildren, a good educational foundation, and unbiased resources. The COB Gazette is campaigning for: *Teaching Sex Education to Stop Teenage Pregnancy Government officials claim that their efforts to fght teenage pregnancy is that they already have parenthood sessions in government schools but those are not effective enough because we still have a large number of teenage pregnancies in The Bahamas today. Sex education starts in the home as well.

Parents should begin introducing the subject of puberty and sex with their children at around age 5. At irst these discussions are more based on the relationships between the sexes. Schools also teach teens about the chances and effects of teenage pregnancies, though the approach will depend on each school. Teens have hormones raging through their bodies and often misunderstand how these hormones affect their choices about safe sex. Implementing a parenting class to become a part of the curriculum in Bahamian schools will help teach girls about the dedication and time it takes to be a teenage mother.

The class should also include lessons on different ypes of contraceptives and birth control methods. *Providing Resources to Prevent In addition to teaching teens about teenage pregnancy, parents and school systems should provide a list of resources for teens that are contemplating having sex. These resources often include phone numbers to local support groups and locations where teens can pick up free condoms. Some school systems can even choose to hand out condoms as part of their safe sex services. *Birth Control and Teen Pregnancies Teenage girls can be placed on birth control to stop teenage pregnancies.

This does not mean sexual education is no longer needed. Birth control and condoms may prevent teenage pregnancies but they will not stop the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea. When choosing birth control, parents and teens have options. There are daily, monthly and tri-monthly birth control solutions. Daily birth control pills are the most common utilized by teen girls trying to prevent pregnancy. The pills need to be taken at the same time every day, however, which can be difficult for some teen girls to remember.

Parents can discuss birth control options with the family physician or gynecologist. The solutions proposed should be greatly considered by the government and schools, as they would pose to be great options in helping our teenage girls. Although the pregnancy rate amongst teens has decreased by two percent over the last ten years, PACE still enrolls 100 to 150 pregnant teens a year. The age group mostly affected by this epidemic are girls ages 14 to 15. We should be making moves to encourage our young girls to make smarter choices.