Speaking of Teenagers’ Pregnancy : Who Will Be Responsible?
by: Anis Suadah

“I am a teenager. I am expelled from school, while I would just have to sit in my final exam. I am also dumped by my family out of town, because I have caused them a bad luck and disgrace. In fact, I want to get protection and motivation from my family to endure my pregnancy”

This was confided by a teenager having endured her pregnancy before marriage. Call her “Bunga” (or Flower in English), a 17 years old student in a vocational high school in Lamongan, as well as a student of a pesantren under the same foundation with her school. Because of her pregnancy, she must bear the burden, losing her family’s support and her dream. 

A fragment of story above shall be a good start for us all to contemplate. Before judging the teenager who got pregnant before marriage as a disgrace, we need to think who is responsible for this and who is to be blamed? Don’t you think the pregnancy among teeangers can be prevented through a good education and adequate information on reproductive health? 

All this time, teenagers seek information on sex through internet or their cellphone. In the meantime, this situation is due to people’s judgment who perceive sex is taboo to be discussed. But this what makes teenagers become more curious and want to try badly. Therefore, sex becomes something which is  ’taboo to discuss, but reasonable to do’

Pregnancy among teeangers may happen to couples who are already married and those who are not yet married. Sex before marriage among teenagers is usually based on myths about sexuality, such as having sex with partner is to prove they love each other, or having sex only once will not cause pregnancy. Those myths become a reference for teenagers to have sex for the first time without thinking of the risks. The risk will be much harder for girls because they can be expelled from school, isolated from society, blamed by the family for bringing bad luck and disgrace, besides other under-age pregnancy physical perils. Meanwhile, boys feel free to go on without bearing any risks. However, having sex, although only once, can cause pregnancy as long as the girl is in a fertility period.  

Most teenagers don’t understand how to act responsibly to manage their sexual activities, how to avoid pregnancy, neither figure out violence among teenagers. All this time, the sexual and reproductive health education among teenagers is not well provided. The government considers this important, but not as a priority. Cosenquently, the number of pregnancy among teenagers is increasing rapidly. The teenagers’ pregnancy case discovered around Pantura  (northern coastal area of Java) such as Bojonegoro, Gresik, Lamongan, Tuban in 2013 has accelerated to 10% compared to previous year. 

There are several reproductive health problems among teenagers. First, Rape. Second,  free  sex. Third, unwanted pregnancy. Fourth, unsafe abortion. Fifth, early age marriage . Sixth,  Sexually Transmitted Disease. The question is, has the government fulfilled the reproductive health and sex rights of its citizen? For example, the rights to get a proper information and service which are teenagers’ friendly. If not, the pregnancy among teenagers is part of our government’s faults, which requires an exit strategy to get rid of this problem. The correct information and orientation on reproductive health education is important for teenagers so they are aware of their own sexuality. Thus, they become responsible for their own body and always protect themselves from any risks which might harm them. [] Anis Suadah

 

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