The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Your Eggo Is Preggo

This past Sunday I spent my Valentine’s Day eating chocolate, avoiding guys and planning a baby shower. Fortunately it was not my own; unfortunately it was for a 17 year old girl. My brothers’ best friend Javante got his girlfriend Betty pregnant. Betty is far from alone as a pregnant teenager. Approximately 750,000 women in the US become pregnant each year and nearly 1/3 of those become pregnant before she reaches the age of 20. Eight in 10 of these pregnancies are unintended and nearly a third of those end in abortion. Despite being ostracized from her family, Betty has chosen to keep her baby. She was forced to make a difficult choice; a choice a 17 year old shouldn’t have been forced to make.

After more than a decade of declining teenage pregnancy rates, in 2005 the pregnancy rate of girls aged 15-19 increased by three percent, and increased again in 2006. The teenage abortion rate also crept up for the first time in ten years. It’s hard to pinpoint what caused this dramatic increase but it does force America to speculate.

I first have to point my finger at our beloved 41st President: George Bush. Bush’s presidency is known for many things: shattering the record for largest annual deficit in history, failure to fulfill the pledge to get Osama Bin Laden “dead or alive”, having not one but two shoes thrown at him during a press conference, and his moral compass that would only allow him and our nations money to support abstinence only sex education programs. With federal financing giving $150 million a year to sex education that emphasized abstinence before marriage and left out all mention of means of contraception, it’s not surprising Betty and thousands of other American teenagers aren’t aware of how to partake in safe sex.

While I do take secret enjoyment in blaming all of our countries problems on President Bush, I am also compelled to turn the tables and look at our culture. Pop culture in America is making promiscuity more and more socially acceptable. With teenage girls obsessing over Carrie in Sex and the City and Juno’s undeniable char, sex and even teenage pregnancies are becoming a much more fathomable idea.

Whether it’s our overly sex-saturated culture or the Bush administration that plays a role in the rise of teenage pregnancy, the reality is that teenagers are sexually active and need to be aware of all the ways they can protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies as well as STD’s. Thankfully the Obama administration is taking a step away from these unproductive abstinence only programs and putting financing towards more liberal programs that have been proven to help prevent pregnancy. Although it’s a little too late for Betty to learn the importance of a Trojan, there are thousands of other teenage girls across America that need to know that safe sex is great sex.

-Alex Mead


Anonymous Anonymous said...


February 25, 2010 at 6:03 AM  

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