Approximately one in every five Colombian teenagers is already a parent, President Juan Manuel Santos told various media at the signing of a political pact to promote reproductive rights.
President Santos expressed the government’s concern about the rapid growth of young and unplanned pregnancies in a speech to Congress Thursday, reported the newspaper El Espectador.
More than half of Colombian pregnancies are unplanned, Santos revealed at the signing of the Promotion and Guarantee of Sexual and Reproductive Human Rights pact.
All political parties represented in Congress signed the agreement, which included a development plan to promote sexual and reproductive rights, as well as a commitment to create policies that prevent teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence.
According to the president, the high rate of teenage pregnancy is especially problematic because it makes breaking the cycle of poverty far more difficult.
“A young life should be thinking about studying and not pass it up working early to raise a child,” he said.
Teen childbearing is six times higher among Colombian women who do not have access to higher education than among those who do.