Teen and unplanned pregnancy is linked to multiple social problems such as limiting the education of the parent(s), poverty, lack of prenatal care, maternal and infant health problems, child abuse and neglect, and long term employment challenges. 30% of teen girls nationally experience pregnancy, and 38% of these girls do not complete high school. Overall, 50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned. These rates are much higher than in other developed countries.
The prevention of such pregnancies through high quality science based sex education, provision of reproductive health services, and advocacy for reproductive rights is the greatest “upstream” intervention one can make in helping young people develop to their full potential. No other “downstream” intervention can possibly ameliorate the negative social impact of teen and unplanned pregnancies and without these services girls and women can never be free to reach their full educational and employment potential.