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Unmarried or underage pregnancy is on the rise, and the trend can be seen everywhere around the world. If we type in the key word in the search engine, the amount and complexity of information we can get would be indeed shocking.
For example, among the 1,900 cases seeking treatments in Taiwan, one of every five patients have got pregnant before marriage. Some doctors estimated based on the teenage fertility rate of four per thousand that, with a teenage girl gets pregnant and gives birth, at least four other teenage girls would have sought for abortion.
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In our case, the statistics of the Health Ministry recorded that more than 18,000 girls between 10-19 years old had got pregnant and more than 30% of them was unmarried pregnancy.
Averagely 12,000 babies are delivered annually at the Klang General Hospital and nearly 14% are unmarried teenage mothers. A hospital official said that she has been handling at least one unmarried mother case every working day of this year and the highest number of referrals she has had in a day was 14.
According to a survey conducted in 2010, 6.5% of teenagers were sexually active in 2010 compared to 2.2% in 2004. And teenagers' knowledge on reproductive health and sexually transmitted diseases were generally low, at between 47% and 59%. Ignorance cost teenagers the price of facing a major responsibility at young age.
Rising trend amongst teens
Sex is like a tempting candy for teenagers in their restless adolescence. However, they do not know that once they try it, and if it goes wrong, it might cost a huge and painful price.
When I was studying in secondary school, a schoolmate got pregnant before finishing her Form 5. With the consent from parents of both sides, the young couple got married and dropped out of school to start their adult life.
Today, their children have reached their adolescence. I cannot help but am curious about how they educate their children about sex.
They were unable to change their fate at that time and thus, chose to bear the responsibility. How would they do today to prevent their children from making the same mistake?
Among my schoolmates who got marriage at young age, a couple inherited business of the husband's father and lives a happy married life.
However, how many among other similar cases in the country can actually end up as a happily ever after story? And how many have to experience a lot of embarrassment along their journeys of life, and suffer from depression, instead of enjoying happiness? It is something to be studied and investigated by the authorities and social welfare organisations.
These data and information would be important to perfect our teenage education and protection mechanism. As time goes by, young people have a greater exposure and similar challenges will become more severe. Therefore, the situation must be assessed from time to time and only the correct methods used can really help them.