A Startling Statistic

Here is a number that can almost undo you when you really think about its implications:  51 percent of Latina women are pregnant at least once by age 20.  

And here’s an article that gives you more insight behind that number:   

Latina Teen Pregnancies Spur Push for Family Talks
Latina teens have a pregnancy rate that’s twice the national average. Advocates working to lower the numbers point to inadequate sex education–including family conversations that don’t happen–as a primary barrier.
NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)–At 25, pushing her 22-month-old son Diego through Brooklyn’s sweltering summer streets, Maricela Estrada says she is not planning on any more children.Along with Diego, peeking out from the stroller, the soft-spoken woman, who became a mother at 20, has two other children, ages 4 and 5, at home with her husband of seven years.”For me, it’s not bad to have children as a young person,” Estrada said in Spanish near her Brooklyn home.

Estrada’s story is part of the eye-catching fertility statistics among Hispanic American women, who, on average, begin families earlier, have fewer abortions and, in their younger years, produce almost twice as many babies as other groups: 82 births per 1,000 among females aged 15 to 19, compared with the national average of 42 per 1,000.

Here’s the rest of the article. 

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2 responses to “A Startling Statistic”

  1. Sheryl Lyon

    Is it so startling or tragic when you consider the possibility that Latin cultures place more emphasis on family values rather than on typical American consumerism. I think Latin family values are a beautiful thing.

  2. rosiemolinary

    Thanks for your comment! I think that every Latino loves the emphasis placed on family values in our community. It’s a great source of pride and comfort. But as a former educator who sat alongside many students in the hospital after they gave birth, who bought plenty of car seats as gifts, who stood in dingy school bathrooms helping a girl administer a pregnancy test, I would say that the part that floors me about the statistic is the implications they create for the young women and their children. Too often, these girls aren’t able to finish high school, can’t pursue higher education, are trapped below the poverty line, face health challenges, and suffer in innumberable and calculable ways. They are set up to be vulnerable at a young age and sometimes, too many times, that vulnerability is never transcended. The level of poverty and violence that Latina women face is an injustice and whiel its an injustice that is complicated, it is worth the fight. I also know that while a sixteen year old can step up to the plate and be a great parent, it means that she has to make grave sacrifices and exhibit stark maturity. Not every 16 year old is able to do that and when those choices aren’t made, the new life growing within is made even more fragile and so is the life of that 16 year old. As an educator and an activist, I feel a responisbility to act when one suffers, while one is made malleable, vulnerable, or disproportionately bares the burden of a situation. But I also feel a responsibility as an educator, activist, mentor, and writer to not just be reactive, but also proactive. Families are a beautiful thing, and I am not much of a consumer. But I will always be a champion for justice, self-awareness, empowerment, and self-actualization, and I take seriously our responsibility to educate our youth so that they may create the life they most imagine for themselves.

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