Hard Facts for Teens and Adults

Nationwide wide, teen pregnancy totals 750,000 a year and teen births, 400,000. The impact of teen pregnancy on mothers' lives, children's futures, costs borned by our society and pressure on our environment is tremendous.

For the sake of parents and children, all individuals of child-bearing age must keep in mind the following hard facts and suggestions before their children are conceived, namely the costs, time and energy required to raise happy and healthy children.

To start with, potential parents should compute all the costs of raising children -- daycare, healthcare, diapers, food, toys, clothes, brace work, vacation, summer camps, college tuition, etc. They should be aware that babies often have infections which may keep parents from sleeping at night. They should ask themselves if they will be patient and loving toward their children who could only cry to express their pain. In addition, most households these days require two breadwinners and still struggle to make ends meet. Furthermore, many workers have to work long hours. Potential parents should ask themselves how much time and energy they will be able to devote to their children after work. Furthermore, if a parent loses the other breadwinner through death, divorce or long-term disability, will he/she have sufficient resources to take good care of the children who did not ask to be born? Also, parents should bear in mind their liability when their children are driving under 18.

We all should be aware that adding 3 million people every year to the United States essentially means more jobseekers, students, patients, drivers, polluters, and users of natural and fiscal resources although many individuals have fine qualities. Do we have the jobs or fiscal and natural resources for these newcomers?

The U.S. population has more than doubled since 1950. If the U.S. population growth trends continue, we can well have half of India's current population within the lifetimes of today's children. Is it in the interest of our children to live in a very crowded, polluted and impoverished country?