Teenage Pregnancy in the Philippines

4412 Words Feb 18th, 2010 18 Pages
This addresses unplanned teenage pregnancy from a human-rights-based perspective. Many programs focus only on the negative aspects of young people's sexual and reproductive health; putting rights at the centre of teenage sexual health avoids treating adolescents as a homogeneous collection of discrete problems. Taking a rights-based approach to adolescent sexual and reproductive health encompasses the inter-relationships and complexity of factors influencing choices and decisions. In this, we explore the meaning of a rights-based approach and examine its implementation in the provision of sexuality, education and health services.

It is a story that may not be too pleasant, but one that is repeated all too often: teenage
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“After a certain point, there’s no turning back.”

According to Bartolome and Gonzales, they have observed some patterns emerging. “Many of these girls come from broken homes, unhappy homes,” says Gonzales. “A number of them get pregnant as an unconscious way of getting even with their parents. Many are emotionally insecure. They look for love and find it in physical contact with another human being.”

“If a 15-year old gets pregnant, it’s not the end of the world,” says Gonzales. “But it’s a setback. It takes more time for her to get back into the mainstream. In a way the girl is deprived of a normal growing up period. Unless she opts for adoption, she’s no longer the carefree teenager. She may want to go out with friends but she cannot because she has to stay home and take care of the baby. Her growing up is accelerated.”

“It also upsets the family structure,” she adds. “The girl makes a grandmother out of her own mother before she’s ready for it. Her siblings are affected. There’s also the effect of hiya. Some still feel compelled to hide the girl until she delivers. After a while, the unwed mother learns to accept her condition. But it takes longer for her family.”

“The sex drive is a powerful drive created by God,” says Gonzales. “It is beautiful. But it has to be used in context, otherwise it is a time bomb.”

The time bomb is already ticking. According to studies conducted by the University of the Philippines
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