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Teens and Tweens

Ecuador Campaign to Curb Teenage Pregnancy Pits Government Against Church

Two out of every three unschooled adolescents in Ecuador are mothers or soon-to-be mothers, an alarming trend that prompted the government to launch a anti-pregnancy campaign that is putting it at odds with the Catholic Church.The teenage fertility rate in Ecuador is the highest in the Andean region, Susana Guijarro, who is in charge of adolescents in the country’s Health Ministry, told Efe.“…Teenage pregnancy rates of girls less than 15 increased 74 percent the past decade, and for girls over 15 it has increased 9 percent,” she said.Teenage mom are less likely to finish school, and with each additional child they have, the likelihood they will finish school diminishes.“The women who don’t finish school have less opportunities for jobs and income, and it’s more likely they will increase their poverty level, putting them in a position that’s particularly vulnerable,” she said.The government says the main way to address teenage pregnancy is education. But it’s at risk of criticism from t...

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