Teenage girls are intentionally getting pregnant in Thailand, information from Teen Pregnancy Surveillance from the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) reveals. When asked teenage girls aged 16-17 years old who are currently pregnant, all still in school with no income, about half reveal they intentionally were trying to get pregnant. Even though they have no way to independently support themselves and the baby, the mothers state they believe they are ready to bring in life. Doctor Bunlit Sukarat from the MOPH stated the teenage pregnancy problem among 15-19 years old has reduced in recent years. In 2019 the number is at 31.3% out of all pregnancies and in 2020 it is at 28.7%.
The number of teenage pregnancies that took place between 10-14 years old also reduced to 1.1 in 2019 and 0.9 in 2020. The number of teenage pregnancies among those who are still studying has actually increased from 39.5% in 2019 and 28% in 2020 to 47.5% in 2021. A part of this is because more teenage mothers now have the choice to continue pursuing their study goals while being pregnant thanks to related advocate sectors. In 2021, 33.8% of teenage pregnancies could continue their studies while 33.8% were pushed to resign or kicked out of school. For students that have already given birth 52.6% are stay-at-home moms in 2020.
Teenage pregnancies who became pregnant more than once, while still a teenager have also decreased with a number of 8.1% in 2020 from 12.2% in 2016. The Teen Pregnancy Surveillance surveys teen mothers to find out their backgrounds, how they became pregnant, were they studying at the time, did they continue their studies, and what their choices were after giving birth to the child. The youngest teenage mothers are 11-12 years old but are rare cases. For most teenage pregnancies the birth process is normal and the child is healthy. More teenage girls are starting to understand why education is important and hopefully the number will continue to decrease throughout the coming years.
FB Caption: More teenage mothers now have the choice to continue pursuing their studies.