Childhood cut short: Three stories of adolescent pregnancy from Paraguay

28 November 2023

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – No one seemed to mind when Noelia* got a boyfriend. Nobody in her family said a word, even though her boyfriend was 18 years old and she was just 13.

When Noelia went to see the cardiologist who had cared for her since birth through the public health service, the doctor explained the risk of pregnancy to her, but not how to prevent it. Although her mother accompanied her to medical appointments and knew about her daughter’s relationship, she did not express any concerns. Nor did anyone at school explain sexual abuse or birth control methods to her.

Soon, Noelia stopped going to school. Then she stopped going to the health service. She was pregnant.


Dominican Republic: Submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – 94th Session

Human Rights Watch
August 31, 2023

The National Confederation of Rural Women (Confederación Nacional de Mujeres del Campo or CONAMUCA), Network of United Youth Voices (Red Juvenil Voces Unidas), the Coalition for Women’s Life and Dignity (Coalición por la Vida y la Dignidad de las mujeres), and Human Rights Watch write in advance of the 94th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the “Committee”) and its review of the Dominican Republic. This submission addresses articles 3, 6, 24, 28, and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and covers access to abortion and specific aspects of the right to education.

The total abortion ban in the Dominican Republic, in effect since 1884, threatens the health and lives of girls, women, and pregnant people, and is incompatible with the country’s international human rights obligations.


Adolescents with HIV face “silence” over sex and contraception

Interviews in rural Senegal suggest adolescents still can’t get information on sexual and reproductive health, even in healthcare settings

Hester Phillips
06 July 2023

A serious lack of information and services for adolescents with HIV in rural Senegal is leading to unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and more babies being born with HIV.

What is the research about? - What happens when adolescents who were born with HIV reach an age when they begin to think about sex, and possibly become sexually active.  Researchers interviewed 21 adolescent girls and 19 adolescent boys with HIV (ages 12-19) in rural areas outside Dakar. They also interviewed their parents/guardians and local healthcare workers.


Nigeria – Unintended pregnancy, abortion in street-involved adolescents in Lagos, Osogbo high — Survey

by Sade Oguntola 
June 22, 2023

UNINTENDED pregnancy and induced abortion is a common experience among the sexually active street-involved adolescents, with a history of school attendance significantly reducing the likelihood of being pregnant, a study has revealed.

It added that those aged between 15 and 19 years who became pregnant are significantly less likely to abort.


Ghana – 6,000 Adolescents In Volta Region Pregnant – Stakeholders Urged To Address Trend


According to Ghana Statistical Service data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census, about 79,733 girls in Ghana aged 12 to 17 have been in a union, either married or living together with a man. Out of this number, 25,999 are girls of junior high school-going age (12 to 14 years).

In the Volta Region, it states that one out of four girls are married or are in a union before 18 years. According to the GHS District Health Information Management System (DHIMS), over 6,000 girls got pregnant between 2020 and 2021 alone.


Vietnam – Teenagers lack knowledge about reproductive health

February 21, 2023

Some medical experts believed that minors lack basic knowledge and skills on protection and care for reproductive and sexual health, so they easily become victims of sexual abuse, leading to bad consequences. Lack of parents' and relatives’ care and schooling also worsened the problem.

According to the World Health Organization, children entering adolescence are going through many physical and psychological changes like exploring their own capabilities and expanding many new relationships. Teenagers having early sexual intercourse have a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy, and unsafe abortion.


State-level Abortion Restrictions Will Negatively Impact Teens and Children

Hannah Lantos, Emma Pliskin, Elizabeth Wildsmith, Jennifer Manlove
October 20, 2022

In a major public health success, the teen pregnancy rate has declined substantially over the past several decades, as has the teen abortion rate. In 2017, teens accounted for only 6 percent of all pregnancies and 9 percent of all abortions, compared to 12 percent and 17 percent, respectively, in 2006 (see Figure 1). We expect, however, that the 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe V. Wade will be harmful for teens, particularly for populations at higher risk of unintended pregnancy—including Black, Hispanic, or Indigenous teens; teens who are bisexual; teens who live in low-income families; and teens who live in the South—due to the many systemic hardships undergirding health disparities more broadly in the United States. These hardships drive lower access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, contraception, confidential care, unbiased and nondiscriminatory health care, and comprehensive sex education.


Too many have suffered under Ghana’s abortion laws. Ending Roe v Wade risks our hope for change

In a country where stigma, poverty and religious beliefs compound anti-abortion laws, a rollback on US rights will only embolden extremists

Bisi Adjapon, The Guardian
Mon 23 May 2022

No one knew she’d had multiple abortions. Not even me, a lifelong friend. “I can’t even count how many times I had to do it. He wouldn’t let me use contraception and he wouldn’t wear anything.” Sitting opposite her at a restaurant, I felt deep anguish. This was a prominent Ghanaian official.

She told me how my novel, The Teller of Secrets, had stirred memories she had tried to suppress. It was not the only shame-filled confession triggered by the book. An award-winning Ghanaian film-maker messaged me to share harrowing accounts of a Muslim woman’s abortions she couldn’t make public. Literary friends of mine have confided similar pain. Almost every African woman I know, mid-30s and above, has had an abortion or two, or more.


India – State of World Population Report: A case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy

by Oneindia Correspondent
Thursday, March 31, 2022

The State of World Population (SoWP) is an annual report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations.

Each edition covers and analyses developments and trends in world population and demographics, as well as shedding light on specific regions, countries and population groups and the unique challenges they face. Each year, SoWP focuses on a particular theme and presents an in-depth analysis on the subject matter covered. The SoWP 2022 brings the spotlight to a critical theme: Expecting more: The preventable crisis of unintended pregnancy.


India Loves Children, But Ignores Reproductive Health

By Ishita Bagchi
10th February, 2022

India has made a significant progress in improving women’s and young people’s sexual and reproductive health. These advancements include the National Family Planning Programme’s expansion of the contraceptive method mix, efforts to strengthen the contraceptive supply chain, and the 2014 launch of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (National Adolescent Health Programme), which prioritises healthy development during adolescence.

Still there are significant gaps in meeting adolescent sexual and reproductive health needs. Many adolescents have limited agency to protect and foster their sexual and reproductive health due to a lack of accurate information, provider bias, and other barriers; and obtaining comprehensive abortion care can be especially difficult. In addition, adolescents who are marginalised because of their sexuality, gender expression, or marital status face additional challenges in getting information and services. Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for all adolescents must be addressed to exercise their bodily autonomy and live healthy lives.