The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy just released data announcing teenage pregnancy among non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks has declined by 52 percent among 15 to 17 year-olds and 36 percent among 18 to 19-year-olds making this a historic low.
A black baby. © Glamy - Fotolia.com
In the African-American community, teenage mothers are a major factor contributing to the staggering percentage of single mothers.
In producing the film On My Own, I've discovered that mothers who start bearing children in their teenage years suffer greatly due to lack of education and other resources. Two out of three of the mothers in the documentary birthed their first child in their teenage years. These mothers faced struggles including: evictions, difficulty pursuing or completing their educations, maintaining a career, and living a cultured life all because of the high demands of motherhood, a role that is increasingly difficult when ill-prepared.
Not to mention, many are forced to depend on government assistance for substantial periods of times. The likelihood of the father, who is probably a teenager himself, accepting his responsibility is significantly lower than men more advanced in age. Adult men are most likely more accomplished and able to support themselves.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy attributed the teenage pregnancy decrease to increased and improved contraceptive use, fewer partners and other factors. However, circumstances such as a poor economy with social programs constantly on the chopping block, welfare reform, the uphill rise of the Black career woman, and a shift in anti-marriage ideology (women wanting their boyfriends to put a ring on it first) must also be taken into consideration.
Since the black family in the United States has been matriarchal in structure for significant time periods post-slavery, black women have observed their mothers struggle and now realize their desire to reverse the pattern.
Source: The Grio | Rachel Miller-Bradshaw