Colombia’s Congress wants to fight teen pregnancy, dubbed one of the main causes of poverty in Colombia, by ways of regular checks on young women.
A new bill seeks to combat sexually transmitted diseases as well as teen pregnancy, local media reported Thursday.
“Teen pregnancy is established as one of the main causes of poverty in the country, for that reason is required to take the necessary steps to prevent further problems caused by these cases,” Simon Gaviria, president of Colombia’s House of Representatives was reported as saying.
Checks would be available for teen girls at least once a year and if anyone is found to be pregnant them and their parents will undergo courses on parental care.
It is estimated that 90 out of every 1,000 Colombian girls aged 15 to 19 become pregnant every year, and — with legal abortions legal only in cases where mother or baby is at risk — most of these girls find themselves responsible for a child.
It was reported that in 2007 there were 6,599 cases of teen pregnancy where as in 2009 the number had risen to 6,928 with teen mothers generally showing a 60% chance of having another child. showing a continual rise in the issue.
Congress addressed numerous causes such as parents of the teen mothers not giving the proper advice, peer pressure and even the influence of social networking “encouraging irresponsible sex.”
Among the debate, the second of four, Gaviria also acknowledged school bullying, implementing a reform in the schooling system to make young students more comfortable in speaking out about bullying.