Teen Pregnancy

Dear Teen Moms at McAlister high school:

We understand that many teen moms haven’t always had a great experience because of how society treats them or views them, but places like McAlister high school who focus on finishing education for teen moms have created a supportive place to change that . McAlister high school has helped out young women who are yearning for their own education but have an infant they must take care of. As students of McAlister, you demonstrate to others that anything is possible and that teen moms aren’t alone. Education is a choice and young women like you demonstrate that you can still get your education while having a child. We chose to write to you because your high school is an example of what Upstanders look like and we look forward to partnering with you.

As you are well aware raising awareness is the toughest thing to do when it comes to having allies for teen pregnancy. Others may think that prevention is the toughest. Birth of the baby ? Discrimination ? Health ? Abortion ? Abandonment ? While all of these things are very important and are tough when it comes to teen pregnancy, one of the toughest is truly raising awareness for those who become pregnant at an early age. What may be the cause of this issue you may ask ? The cause is because people have so many beliefs when it comes to teen pregnancy. Some may come from religious beliefs, when looking at the website, “ Management of Teenage Pregnancy: A Catholic Approach “ written by Paddy Jim Baggot, M.D. He talks about how in the Catholic approach abortion is this “ huge sin “ and illicit to them, but also he talks about how those teenagers who are expecting a baby and / or have a baby already should have waited until marriage, he exclaims, “ Obviously, such a couple should have waited till marriage at a more mature age “ ( Baggot ). I say, why do people have to wait until marriage if they feel ready they should have their own choice in choosing when they want to have a baby and when not to have one, that’s illogical. People all over the world agree with this. Instead of bashing teen mothers for having a baby at a young age, everyone needs to support teenage mothers in anyway possible. We want to educate people about this topic and have them feel empathy towards teen mothers instead of thinking that getting pregnant at 12-19 is a “ bad choice. “

There have been lots of information posted online in the past as a Tactic of Change. One is education and direct service. Posting information online is education because so many people are on the internet and it helps people figure out what they need. It is also direct service because it provides a basic need: information and materials. For example, on DoSomething.org they give 11 fact about teen pregnancy. While looking around a quote stood out to be that states “In 2008, the teen pregnancy rate among African-American and Hispanic teen girls, ages 15 to 19, was over two and a half times higher than the teen pregnancy rate among white teen girls of the same age group.[7]”  This stood out to me because race has a great  impact on teen pregnancy because not many people have that many resources and sometime no support at home to provide for their child and it is important to see how racism and this challenge go together. A second tactic is the Babysitter Club it provides teen moms with help taking care of their child and for her to get her GED. This is direct service because it removes the obstacle of child care so the mom can receive her academic goals to care for her and her child (“11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy”).  

As a school for pregnant teens, we know you understand the issue and the support youth need. In our opinion though, we still need to raise awareness and educate families about teen pregnancy to help and reduce stigma on teen pregnancy. This will give young girls a way to feel comfortable to work out their situation knowing there’s people with them and not against them. This will also help out families understand what their daughter is going through and support her without assuming how she is feeling. Our way to make this happen at our school is to create a workshop/presentation because oakland doesnt have a school for young mothers that we know of.  This would be a good way to help raise awrness and educate for the great or good.

Things we could do is:

  • Make an Instagram account
  • Workshop / Parent Wednesday / Give lessons
  • Make a diaper / clothes donation
  • Have students at our school wear blue to support teen mothers
  • Blue ribbon ( tie on arm )
  • Make slides to inform others
  • Start a go fund me page to raise money to send the diapers/clothes to LA.

In conclusion, we chose McAlister high school because they show us what true allies should look like and act like when it comes to supporting teen pregnancy. Learning about McAlister high school made us realize that we should have a high school like this in Oakland. But since we can’t make a big change like that yet, we are doing clothes / diaper drive and education student and parents in our school so they can know how to be supportive when it comes to teen mothers.

Sincerely,

Cece, Tania, Kalani

Annotated Bibliography

“11 Facts About Teen Pregnancy.” DoSomething.org, DoSomething.org, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-teen-pregnancy.

DoSomeing.org is a website created by young activist in California to help the community, create social change, and just to help volunteer. This site is credible because it’s a .org and all its evidence is cited. This website gives more that just teen pregnancy information it give resources for everything.

“About Teen Pregnancy | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm.

This article is about teen pregnancy and the racial disparities when it comes to childbirth. Most teen pregnancies come from the Hispanic and the non-Hispanic Black communities. CDC is credible because they are professional doctors who are giving their evidence to the community ad they have way more experience than what I do or my team does. This article strength are showing real numbers and having graphs but being able also analyze the evidence and help us better understand it. Its weaknesses are that the citations for them aren’t organized alphabetically so it seems a little bit less credible. I chose to include this in my research because it seems like the numbers for teen pregnancy are really important and they need to be show to people so they can get better educated on the topic.

Office of Adolescent Health. “Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing.” HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 28 Mar. 2019, www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/reproductive-health-and-teen-pregnancy/teen-pregnancy-and-childbearing/trends/index.html.

Person. “Teen Moms.” American SPCC, americanspcc.org/teen-moms/.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Supporting Teen Moms by Celeste is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Comments
  1. Nayeli 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this information it has been very informative . It was interesting to read about your take on teen pregnancy . I agree on the point you have made that most teens that get pregnant at a young age get judged and treated differently based off of their religious beliefs . The example you gave made your point very valid and supported you claim . Something that would have helped more would have been providing percentages of the teen pregnancy and basing it off of the religion beliefs . Other than that is was a great way to call attention to teen pregnancy because not a lot of people think it is a problem .

  2. Audrey 2 months ago

    Celeste,
    Thank you for sharing this article, it was very interesting to read. I think you are right that teen moms should not be ostracized the way they are sometimes. As a teen myself I could never even imagine being a mother right now so I felt for the girls you talked about in your article. I think it could be interesting if you talked about the reasons that teen pregnancy rates are dropping. This would maybe help you come up with more solutions to help people. Here is an article to get you started. ( https://www.womenshealth.gov/30-achievements/09 )

    Sincerely,
    Audrey

  3. Audrey B. 2 months ago

    Hi Cece, Tania, Kalani,

    My name is Audrey, I am a graduating senior at San Jose State University. I enjoyed reading your concern for academic success in teenage mothers. Society tends to generalize adolescent mothers in engaging in high risk behavior and achieving low academic success. I am currently analyzing a case study in my Critical Issues in Adolescent Development of a young mother in San Francisco who in fact, gained much more academic motivation after having a child at the age of sixteen. I believe that if we want to see higher success in these young mothers, more academic support and intervention should be implemented, as you also suggested.

    Best,
    Audrey

  4. Keirstyn 2 months ago

    Dear Celeste,
    Your post on “Supporting Teen Moms” is both intriguing and perplexing. I definitely agree with you that teen moms should receive more support from their community. Raising funds and implementing programs for these young mothers would not only benefit the baby and mother but society. However, I feel some aspect of this support should include education on safe sex practices, maternal/baby health, and other domains. I do not agree that we should be promoting teen pregnancy; however, shaming these girls is completely unnecessary. Thank you for this post!

    Keirstyn

  5. Erica 2 months ago

    Dear Celeste,
    I am happy by your post “Supporting Teen Moms” because you are shedding light as to why a support system is important for teen moms. One message you wrote that stood out to me was “we want to educate people about this topic and have them feel empathy towards teen mothers instead of thinking that getting pregnant at 12-19 is a “bad choice”. I think this is important because regardless of our age we all need to be educated in this changing life we live in and be taught to look at the positives as much as we do the negatives. Your post reminds me of when I went to the mall this last weekend and an older lady asked young mom how old she was and she responded “17” the older lady looked disappointed. I felt really bad for the teen mom and felt like the response to her simple question was not necessary. Supporting our teen moms and educating our surroundings is the first step to change. Thanks for sharing Celeste!

  6. Zaozao 2 months ago

    Dear Celeste:
    I feel sad about your post, “Teen Pregnancy”, because I am doing a case study about teen pregnancy. I found that being a teen mom is very difficult. One sentence you wrote that stand our for me is “how society treats them or views them, but places like M”. I think this is very normally in our society because they will think the teen mom differently than other regular mother. Your post reminds me of something that happened to one of my high school friend. She is a teen mom. One time she went to shopping with me. A women said, ” bad girl” to my friend when the women went across us. That’s very rude.

  7. Jackson Potter 3 months ago

    I really appreciated your efforts to not demonize teen pregnancy and take a positive approach to assisting youth that are parents. Taking the time to explore different models of support within our schools is really compelling and important for addressing the needs of teen parents. Your review of the racial disparities of teen pregnancy are concerning. Would it be worthwhile to explore the reasons for those disparities? We talk alot in our society about individual responsibility and culpability but not enough time, in my opinion, on prevention and robust programming to help young people make informed choices. Could your advocacy potentially address both teen pregnancy prevention programming for youth of color in addition to services for teen parents? Also, how can i help support your ideas for implementing more programs like those at McAlister throughout your school district?

    • Kalani 3 months ago

      we do feel like looking more into why there are racial disparities when it comes to teen pregnancys. But we would really like to say thank you for supporting our topic and we would love for you to go support our instagram and gofundme
      Ig: _teenmoms
      Gofundme: http://www.gofundme.com/diaper-and-baby-clothes-donation?
      Thank you again.

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