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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Can Venezuelan Teens be Shamed Out of Getting Pregnant?

"Return to class" reads the sign behind visibly pregnant-looking teenage mannequins in a shopping mall in Caracas, Venezuela. The story made the NBC news site and is one of the more encouraging things to come from Venezuela recently. The country's total fertility rate of 2.4 children per woman is just below the world average, and is sufficiently above replacement level that the country is projected to add another 10 million people to its current 30 million by mid-century. However, as the mall display tries to convey, the timing of babies is no less important than the number being born. Teenage births are associated especially with girls who are in poverty and who are neither educated about contraceptives nor empowered to use them. The pregnancy and subsequent birth (abortions are not legal in Venezuela) then will likely condemn the mother and her child to continued poverty. These were the conclusions of a World Bank report issued a few months ago, and it was this report that seemed to spur the "Showcase of Shame" campaign organized by Friends of Children Who Deserve Protection (known as Fundana). 

Not getting pregnant will free lots of young women in Venezuela to pursue a better life. It will also have the demographic side-effect of slowing down the rate of population growth by lengthening the time between generations, and it will reduce the percentage of the population under the age of 15. That figure is currently a whopping 29 percent, which is higher than the world age, and is a huge drain on the nation's resources.

1 comment:

  1. HAHA!! .you think that South America is going to give up "amore" ??!!!!! HAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

    not a chance!!!

    Pete, Redondo Beach