Society has taken a much too casual approach to our nation’s teenage pregnancy epidemic. The macrocosm of America is often reflected in the microcosm of Hollywood, entertainment, and celebrity gossip; all of which seem to condone unplanned teenage pregnancies rather than to take a stand against the epidemic. Sadly, we now live in a nation where children are viewed not as living, breathing human beings, but as fashion accessories. Evidence of this is seen in the latest Hollywood fad of adopting children. While adopting a child differs greatly from pregnancy, the image presented by Hollywood is that children are nothing more than this season’s Vera Wang dress or Fendi handbag.
The impact of this trend is seen in every small town and big city across America, where pregnant teenagers are welcomed by society with open arms and showered with affection and sometimes even envy. Compare this to American society before the women’s liberation movement, where unwed teenage mothers were society’s pariahs. Today, teenagers do not feel the responsibity of raising children because they have been brought up in an age where personal responsibility is non-existent. Teenagers think nothing of these responsibilites because as long as there are local, state, and federal agencies footing the bill at the expense of taxpayers, they don’t have to.
With that being said, the only way we can address the teenage pregnancy epidemic in America is by removing the safety net of welfare and government assistance. When each and every one of your basic needs is met by someone else, there is no incentive to become personally responsible. Responsibility is what develops when an individual is faced with consequences, and when they have no one to depend on but themselves.
While this rhetoric may sound harsh, it is no different than the way every other form of live exists on this planet. For millions of years, species have survived and thrived by their innate sense of responsibility. A bird knows that it will never fly unless it spreads its wings and leaves the safety of the nest. A coyote knows that in order to survive, it must be capable of fending for itself. Likewise, for the human race to thrive and endure, it is necessary for our teenagers to know that lack of responsibility can lead to a host of undesired consequences.
These consequences are what is missing in today’s world. Without them, there is nothing we can do in order to remedy the teenage pregnancy epidemic.