Teen Pregnancy Rates In New Brunswick dropping
By Danielle M.
Teen pregnancy throughout the years has been many things. A trend, a mistake, or a choice. There has been a major decrease in the amount of teen pregnancies in the province of New Brunswick and a decrease in the amount of abortions as well. There are many new resources that are available for young adults that help aware people and prevent unwanted pregnancies.
According to the New Brunswick Health Indicators, teenagers are said to be a small portion of the total number for pregnancies in the province. Teens have a higher risk of having complications during pregnancy and long term health consequences after birth for both the baby and the mother. It is also less likely for teen mothers to continue with their education and more likely for them to have limited job opportunities. This is not the case at Fredericton High School. This year, there have been no reported dropouts according to Mrs. Patricia Sullivan, the nurse at FHS, due to pregnancy related terms.
The number of reported pregnancies in the province in 2009 were half of what they were almost two decades ago in 1992. In 1992 there were 1,162 reported pregnancies and in 2009 there were only 613 according to NB Health Indicators. Even in the past few years the decrease in teen pregnancies was very noticeable within Fredericton High School.
“When I first came to the school there were a lot of pregnant girls, but lately the drop in amounts is crazy. Last year alone, I’m pretty sure there was like five or six girls that were pregnant but this year I’ve maybe only seen two.” Alysia said.
One quarter of teen pregnancies ended in abortion between 1992 and 2009. Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John were tied for the largest amount of abortions in private clinics. Abortion rates are decreasing due to all the resources and other options we have in our community. Abortion is a moral debate and the community is showing it as a sin with all the protesting that happens around the clinics. Protesters scare many girls into choosing another option instead of what they think is best for them and their baby.
“Abortion can be the right choice for some people. I’m not saying go ahead and get an abortion because you made a mistake, I’m saying that if the circumstances are right and it is the best option, go ahead. Like if a girl was raped or has serious health issues that would affect the baby. Other than that I believe that keeping the baby or adoption are the two best options out there. Even if you are not ready to take care of a baby or are not financially able to care for the child, give him or her to someone who can. Someone who can’t have one on their own without your help,” said Michelle.
So why are teen pregnancy rates decreasing?
It is believed that teen pregnancies are decreasing due to the resources and information we have now that we didn’t have before. In Fredericton, we have a Sexual Health Center, located at 300 St. Mary’s Street, that is accessible throughout most of the week. They provide sexual counselling to talk about what is going on and to give you information on what you may not know about sex. The Sexual Health Center also provides people under the age of twenty-one with different types of birth control for free. We also have many sites online that give great information on pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. A site used in Fredericton High School’s Personal Development class is www.sexualityandu.ca. In the schooling systems, especially Fredericton High School’s, there are courses that are mandatory that give you lots of great information on the topic.
“The information they provide us with now is amazing. I wish I had the resources that are available now when I was seventeen years old. When I was pregnant at seventeen there were online sites to get information but there wasn’t easy access to birth control,” said Michelle. “I had to consider all my options on my own and it was very difficult not having a counsellor at school who was more of an expert on what I was going through. My teachers and classmates treated me completely different. There were only a few other pregnant girls in the school (Leo Hayes High School) at the time.”
Pregnancy rates have gone down significantly and students should be more aware about the consequences of unprotected sex.
This graph shows that over the last few decades the rates of teen pregnancies in Canada have decreased.
Birth Control, shown in the picture above, is available at the Sexual Health Center on the north side.