Briana’s story showed a unique perspective on teen pregnancy, as she and her sister Brittany became pregnant around the same time. However, while Briana decided to have her baby and become a parent, Brittany terminated her pregnancy, an outcome we also saw on “No Easy Decision,” which featured Markai from Season 2 of “16 and Pregnant.”
Parenting before you’re really ready is clearly hard, but so is making an adoption plan or choosing to have an abortion. Both Briana and Brittany considered their options and made the choices they thought were right for them. Here are some of the hard facts they needed to consider:
• More than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. will have an abortion during her lifetime.
• Abortions to teens are not as common as you may think: Only 18 percent of abortions in the U.S. are to teens, and less than 1 percent are to teens younger than 15. That means 82 percent of abortions in the U.S. are to women over 20.
• Of the nearly 750,000 teen girls who get pregnant in the U.S. every year, more than half of them give birth. About 14 percent of teen pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 26 percent end in abortion. Of the more than 400,000 teens who carry their pregnancies to term, fewer than 2 percent choose adoption.
• Teens today are less likely to terminate their pregnancies than teens 20 years ago. Between 1986 and 2006, the proportion of teen pregnancies ending in abortion declined by almost one-third, from 40 percent to 28 percent.
• Two-thirds of states require teenagers seeking abortion to involve their parents in the decision. If that’s not possible, there are ways around it, such as seeking permission from a judge.
• Abortion procedures are generally very safe. In fact, the risk of death from childbirth is 11 times greater than the risk of death from an abortion procedure during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
• 88 percent of counties in the United States have no abortion providers. Of women who have an abortion, 1 in 4 must travel more than 50 miles to do so.
Once there’s an unplanned pregnancy, every road ahead is a tough one, especially if you’re a teenager or single young adult. That’s why preventing pregnancy in the first place is so important. For more information on birth control, adoption and abortion, check out the resources below.
• To learn abortion laws in the state that you live in: prochoiceamerica.org.
• To talk about your abortion experience: 4exhale.org.
• For a free birth-control support network: bedsider.org.
• To find out more about being a birth mother, or to support someone who is making an adoption plan: ichooseadoption.org.
–Written by Lauren Mann of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
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