Teenage pregnancy a national emergency?

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Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to declare teenage pregnancy a national emergency, Thursday.

The agency said that if the government would not be pro-active in resolving teenage pregnancy in the country, “the Philippines might [have] an impending population crisis.”

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teenage pregnancy rate philippines
Teenage pregnancy rate in the Philippines is one newborn every 2.5 minutes. (Image from Al Jazeera)

Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), said, “Our adolescents deserve the best start in their young lives, and we can do that by not allowing Filipino children to have children.”

Popcom launched the “No More Children Having Children” campaign in Quezon City yesterday, October 23.

Perez also asked Congress to pass a law that will give pregnant adolescents (including those who had a miscarriage) access modern family planning services without requiring parental consent.

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Philippine Statistics Authority reports said there are about 200,000 Filipino women, ages  10 to 19 gave birth in 2017.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, some 200,000 Filipino women between the age of 10 and 19 gave birth in 2017.

Perez said teenage mothers in the Philippines give birth to 24 babies per hour or one newborn every 2.5 minutes.

The Popcom chief also said, adolescent mothers, are more prone to premature delivery, low birth weight, complications at birth, inborn anatomical defects, and other health risks.

“[Babies] born preterm and with low weights are at risk of stunted growth. Adolescent pregnancies will take their toll on the health of newborns,” Perez said.

Perez said teenage pregnancy causes P33 billion in economic losses. Declaring teenage pregnancy as a national emergency could lead to national development.

Also read: 11-year-old girl in Cebu tested positive for sexually transmitted infections

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