He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lord, Please Not Another One!!

•About 1 million teenage girls in the U.S. (which is about 10% of the girls age 15-19) become pregnant each year.
•It is estimated that approximately 1/3 of pregnant teens have abortions, 14% have miscarriages, and 52% give birth.
•About 72% of teens who give birth are not married.
•About 75% of teens who give birth are first-time mothers.
•Over 175,000 of the teens who give birth each year are under the age of 18.
•Eighty percent of young teenage moms end up in poverty and on welfare.
•The sons of young teenage moms are 2.7 times more likely to end up in prison than sons born to girls who did not bear children until they were at least 20.
•If teenage girls would delay childbearing until the age of 20.5, the incarceration rate across the U.S would decrease by 3.5%. This would amount to a long-range savings of one billion dollars in correctional costs and three billion dollars in law enforcement costs.
•If teenage girls delayed childbearing until after the age of 21, the rate and costs would be reduced even further. In addition, if less of these young men are incarcerated, then they are able to better contribute to the support of their own children.
•A study in Illinois found that children of teenage mothers are twice as likely to be abused and neglected than are children of 20 or 21 year old mothers. It is estimated that as many as 5% of foster-care placements would not be needed if teenage childbearing were eliminated.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention — Fact Sheet #50, Jan. 1997, Adolescent Motherhood: Implications for the Juvenile Justice System by Rebecca A. Maynard, Ph.D., and Eileen M. Garry

It's been 3 odd years or so sense we have been involved in urban ministry and I don't believe the time here or any CCDA conference has helped me get use to the number of middle school and teenage pregnancies that happen around me everyday. I just dont get it. It's becoming such a huge part of our community that it isnt shoking anymore. That bothers me and I am tired of seeing it. The statiscs above bothers me and so do the reality of it all. Lord, please help!!