12 | DIC | 2019
Teenage pregnancies increase in Latin America
In Mexico, more states have been discussing and approving laws to decriminalize abortion – Photo: Carlos Jasso/REUTERS

Teenage pregnancies increase in Latin America

17/11/2019
09:38
Mexico City
Editorial
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Poverty and inequality play an important role in teenage pregnancies

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In Latin America, despite the developments in regards to sex education, legislation in favor of women's sexual and reproductive rights, as well as the decriminalization of abortion, the social recognition of gender equality, and the inclusion of women in the workforce is still a pending issue in the region as birth rates among teenagers are unusually high.

Moreover, the birth rate among teenagers in Latin America is above international rates and standards and although it is true that some countries in the region have shown some developments in this matter, others have been taking steps backward.

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A report issued by the United Nations Population Fund found a link between economic inequality in countries such as Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, and Dominican Republic and high teenage pregnancy rates, which are explained by scarce sex education and reproductive programs and campaigns, along with the lack of public funds for the distribution of contraceptives among marginalized communities.

For example, in Colombia, the use of contraceptives among teenagers increased from 66% to 81% but in contrast, in Venezuela teenage pregnancies have increased as the result of contraceptive shortages the general crisis.

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For a long time, in Latin America has a conservative crusade to ban the implementation of contraceptive methods among the population, as well as pressure from groups of parents to ban sex education in schools; nevertheless, something that halts the development of a teenagers is to have a child, not because maternity is negative, but because a teenager is not physically, emotionally, or financially fit to become a parent.

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