The birth rate also contributes to overpopulation. Overpopulation stretches resources, and may force families living under the poverty level to further disenfranchisement.
Factors causing teen pregnancy in the Philippines
Though there is no single cause for the rate of teen pregnancy in the Philippines, there is a combination of biological, social, and cultural factors that can be noted:
- Biological. Teenagers become curious about sex and their sexuality.
- Social. This includes lack of sex education and how to effectively protect themselves from getting pregnant and contracting sexually transmitted infections. The lack of access to family planning services is also a big problem.
- Cultural. Parents in the Philippines are not comfortable with discussing sex with their teenagers. There is also the culture of encouraging teens to get married early as a means to become more financially stable.
Filipinas should be given the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health, in order to protect their wellbeing and to reduce the risk of teen pregnancy in the Philippines. Women should be able to have access to the right healthcare services, sex education, and ways and means to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies as well as STIs.
Effects and risks
When a girl becomes pregnant, there are lifelong effects and risks that need to be addressed
- Young mothers may be forced to stop going to school in order to take care of their children. When a teenager becomes pregnant, her schooling will be interrupted. At worst, she will no longer be able to finish her education.
- There are many health risks to teenage pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
- There is also an increase in maternal complications that could lead to the mother’s death during delivery of the baby.
- Due to the fact that a teenager’s body is not yet mature enough to handle a baby, the chances of premature birth or stillbirth is high.
- A teenager’s mental health is also put at risk as pregnancy at this age often puts stress on relationships. The mood swings, sleepiness, and physical changes can affect a teenager’s emotional health.
Why do we need to curb teen pregnancy in the Philippines?
A healthy teenage pregnancy is possible. However, most teenage pregnancies suffer from a multitude of stressors, health risks, and other potential complications. Aside from the negative effects on the physical and mental health of a teenage mom, teenage pregnancy has an economic effect on the country.
As of 2019, the Philippine currently holds the top spot with regards to the number of teenage pregnancies among the six major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN.) The Philippines continues to see a rise in the number of teenage pregnancies, whereas other countries are seeing a decrease in theirs.