Tens of thousands of women have unplanned pregnancies each year. In fact, a baby was born to a teen mom every 18 minutes in 2018.
You might wonder why you should care about pregnant teenagers; because they don’t have your parents, live your life or have the opportunities that you were afforded.
In Texas, 46% of high school students reported ever having sex and 33% reported being currently sexually active according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Texas ranks last in the usage of contraceptives among the 34 states that gather and report information on contraceptive usage in teens.
Additionally, 25% of schools don’t teach sex education at all. According to a recent study, approximately 75% of teen pregnancies are unintended. We want teens to understand that, if a pregnancy is unplanned, they are not alone and there are resources available to figure out if parenting is right for them.
Another contributor to teen pregnancy in Texas is the lack of knowledge that teens have around sexual intercourse and the possible consequences. In Texas, more than 50% of high schools teach abstinence-only sex education. That means that they tell you that the best way to avoid pregnancy is not to have sex.
Furthermore, Texas is ranked #1 for repeat births among teens in 2018. This means that among teens aged 15-19 giving birth, more than 19% already have at least one child. The high Texas teen pregnancy rate is due to the fact that teens in Texas tend to be more sexually active on average than teens in many other states.
The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated that 42.7% of Texas teens had engaged in sexual intercourse at least once. In addition to this, 29.3% of teens in Texas reported being currently sexually active. While many teens are sexually active, not many utilize proper birth control. Over 50% of teens that are sexually active report not using a condom the last time they had sex. The high levels of sexual activity among young people and the lack of proper birth control plays a role in the number of unexpected pregnancies in the State.
It’s common for parents to believe that certain issues don’t affect their culture or community. The truth is that teenagers throughout Texas regardless of culture or community become pregnant every day.
Teenagers living in rural areas, those in foster care and those living in poverty are more likely to become pregnant. But it’s important to remember that pregnancy doesn’t discriminate based on ethnicity, education, culture, etc.
The largest percentage of Texas teens who become pregnant each year are Hispanic (34.4%) and come from places near the Mexico border. African American girls represent 26.7% of teen pregnancies and whites comprise 14.6%. These figures are rounded out by Native Americans at 12.6% and Asians at 3%.