The issue of teenage pregnancy is a serious one. Giving birth to a child at this age leads to several complications related to health; besides, it also causes numerous severe problems related to the social aspects of life. For instance, teenage pregnancy is associated with high-school dropout, “involvement with the juvenile corrections system,” poverty, etc. (Fratt par. 7). It is important to address this issue on the state and federal level; however, local communities also might take part in dealing with the problem. In this paper, we will examine how the community of Palatine, Illinois addressed this issue.
It is stated that historically today’s teenage birth rate is at its lowest; but, despite the significant reduction in the percentage of teenage pregnancies over the last decades, the U.S. still has one of the highest levels of teen pregnancy among the developed countries (Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity par. 1-2). Palatine, Illinois had approximately 4,500 children aged 10 to 14 years (≈2,200 of them females) in 2010, which means that nowadays there is approximately the same number of teenagers aged 15-19 in the village (United States Census Bureau n. pag.). According to some statistics, approximately 2.95% of females aged 15-19 in Illinois give birth to a child each year; among females aged 15-17, this rate is 1.54% (“Illinois Adolescent Reproductive Health Facts” n. pag.). Therefore, it might be concluded that roughly 15 girls aged 15-17 give birth to a baby every year in Palatine, Illinois. Of course, this number is very approximate; however, it is still a concern.
Although the problem has not been widely discussed in the local media of Palatine, the community has taken several steps to address this problem. For instance, in 2013 there was established a “Teen Parenting program,” the participants of which educated teenagers and supplied them with information about various health issues that emerge during pregnancy. The members of the program also provided layettes for babies of those teenage mothers who needed them (Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity par. 4-6).
Local health centers also provide the necessary health services for teenagers who are pregnant. Some important information related to the issue is published as well; for instance, there exist instructions for parents on how to act if their child is possibly pregnant (“Sexual Health Centers Palatine IL” n. pag.). Local businesses also offer an option of using adoption services if a child was unplanned (“Teenage Pregnancy” n. pag.).
On the other hand, we were not able to find many materials in the local media related to birth control and the prevention of pregnancy for adolescents. Still, such issues should be a part of the school curriculum; besides, the problem of teenage pregnancies is rather a general one; it is not related specifically to Palatine. Such problems seem to usually gain more attention in larger communities. For instance, there is no need to publish any materials on the topic in the local online media, for such information can often be found on the websites of various medical, government, and different non-profit organizations.
As it can be seen, the community of Palatine has taken some steps related to the problem of teenage pregnancy over the last few years. However, the issue is not often discussed in the local media, which is understandable, for the community of Palatine is not a large one. Still, it might be recommended to pay more attention to this problem.
Fratt, L. Early Literacy Intervention. 2003. Web.
Sexual Health Centers Palatine IL. n.d. Web.
Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity. Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity, PHD and Township High School District 214 in Illinois Introduce New Program for Pregnant Teens. 2013. Web.
Teenage Pregnancy – Palatine, IL 60095. n.d. Web.
United States Census Bureau. Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010. 2010 Demographic Profile Data. n.d. Web.