SNH should do teen pregnancy follow-up

Published 6:03 pm Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thank you for glorifying teen pregnancy in the story “Sisters, mothers, aunts” in Thursday’s edition.

To be a true role model for the community, the Suffolk News-Herald should do a follow-up to this story with statistics on teen pregnancy.

Teenage births are associated with lower annual income for the mother. Eighty percent of teen mothers must rely on welfare at some point. Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school. Only about one-third of teen mothers obtain a high school diploma.

Teenage pregnancies are associated with increased rates of alcohol and substance abuse, lower educational level and reduced earning potential in teen fathers.

In the United States, the annual cost of teen pregnancies from lost tax revenues, public assistance, child health care, foster care and involvement with the criminal justice system is estimated to be about $7 billion.