Teen pregnancies and blame game

PARENTAL CARE: While sexual reproductive health knowledge is being taught in schools now, parents have a role to play, too.

THE New Straits Times recently reported a terribly worrying trend, at least if you are a parent. This is especially so if you are the parent of a young girl.

Statistics gleaned from the Health Department’s Teen Pregnancy Statistics Manual 2012 showed that in that year and the one before, there were more than 18,000 teen pregnancies.

This was a marked increase from the 5,962 teen pregnancies recorded in 2010. Of the 18,000-plus teen pregnancies, both in 2011 and 2012, more than 4,000 in each year were unmarried teens.

The NST only managed to get statistics for the first three months of last year, but if the average was maintained, last year would have seen roughly the same number of teen pregnancies, or perhaps even more.

To put it in a more manageable way, a smaller number is called for. The national average for Malaysia translates to 12 teens getting pregnant each day.

Even more worrying, there were five deaths among pregnant teens in the first quarter of last year, compared with 17 for the whole of 2012.

People, of course, will focus more on the unmarried pregnant teens. But what of the married ones? It’s not difficult to imagine that many of them were married because they had gotten pregnant.

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