Teen pregnancy is a life-changing challenge that affects everything

Kara Givens, Reporter

TEEN PREGNANCY is a topic spoken about by parents, teachers, and students across the world. At Granger High School, teen pregnancy prevails within all grade levels. For students of all ages, getting pregnant can affect the way an individual lives their life. This leads to students changing attributes of their lifestyles academically, emotionally, and even socially, as having a baby as a teenager can be a very big deal.

According to the Utah Department of Health, one out of four girls will become pregnant before the age of 20. On top of that, only about 38% of those teen girls graduate from high school. For many Granger Lancers who are becoming teen moms, graduation is a big part of their futures.

“Maybe having somebody to take care of will distract me, but I feel like if I really try, I can make graduation,” Cristella Martinez (11) said. Upon finding out that she was pregnant, Martinez was flooded with mixed emotions. She was scared, sad, and excited. Although the graduation rate is low for teen moms, she has good grades and is on track for graduation.

While being pregnant doesn’t seem to affect an individual’s grades, it does in fact affect attendance which in turn lowers citizenship. “My attendance is off and becoming pregnant lowered my CPA because of all of the appointments,” Luvia Lucena (12) said. Pregnancy also affected her emotionally by making her feel insecure. In addition to being affected emotionally, Lucena was affected socially by making all of her friends want to stop being friends with her.

Through Planned Parenthood, individuals are welcome to learn about pregnancy, talk to somebody about it, and find other alternatives. Without relation to the dropping abortion rate, more teens are raising their babies on their own. According to Leslie Kantor from Planned Parenthood, “high-quality sex education” is what makes a measurable difference in lowing the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States.

“Having a sexual relationship is a big deal for teens and should be thought about when financially and mentally stable,” Shawnee Smith said. Because having to take care of a whole other person is a big deal, it is clearly a very smart thing to wait for a sexual relationship until an individual is actually ready to act like an adult and make adult decisions. Many teens today struggle if choosing to keep their baby is the right decision or if looking into adoption possibilities would be better for them.

Without being financially or mentally ready to take care of another person, the baby may get neglected, which is something that all parents strive to avoid. In becoming educated about the risks of a sexual relationship before an individual is ready, the rate of teen pregnancy can continue to drop, and the graduation rates can rise to an all-time high.

For Ramona Muñoz (11), she was very scared after finding out that she was pregnant. “My first thought was my dad,” Muñoz said. She hated the thought of him being disappointed in her and him being upset. Telling him on her birthday, Muñoz and her boyfriend are ready to raise this baby on a newly thought schedule. 

“I don’t want to leave my baby with anybody but him or myself,” Muñoz said. While on track for graduation, Muñoz is on home release for 1A and is going to Granite to finish up her year. Because she wants to come back for her senior year, Muñoz is going to have her baby boy in February, have a little maternity break, and come back next year for her final year as a Lancer.

Talked about across the globe, various people believe that having a baby could be the end of a life. However, for Muñoz, her baby saved her. Being severely depressed before finding out about her predicament, she felt as if she owed it to him because she was given another chance. 

Affecting an individual academically, emotionally, and even socially, teen pregnancy can change how you live your life. In the United States, teen pregnancy is a big cause for the lowered rate of graduation. At Granger High School, Lancers strive to make graduation their goal, even if they are caring for another person along the way.