The U.S. has a teen pregnancy problem. It has one of the highest rates of teen births in the industrialized world, second only to Bulgaria. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas ranks fourth in the nation in teen pregnancy. In the last decade, significant progress has been made in decreasing these rates nationally and in the state. Still, Arkansas has a teen birth rate almost 50 percent higher than the national rate.
The demands of being a parent can be a challenge. The difficulties that come with unplanned pregnancies in teens can have profound effects on their lives. Their physical, social, mental and emotional health may all be affected by this sudden change. Additionally, they will have to take on many more responsibilities that accompany pregnancy and parenthood. Unfortunately, teen mothers are less likely to complete high school or secure a high-paying job and more likely to be a financial drain on their family and/or society.