By: Elisha Colip
Being in my early 20s, I feel nowhere prepared to take care of children or to start a family. In Nicaragua there are a lot of young girls who are getting pregnant, having kids and possibly having multiple kids during the age frame of 13 and up. I have personally seen multiple girls that are younger than me with kids already and no job. In Nicaragua, a country where birth control is free for everyone with or without insurance, it is also the country in Central America that has the highest rate of teen pregnancies according to Dr.Quezada, a doctor at the free clinic in San Francisco de Nindri, Nicaragua set up by nursing students from Texas State.
Nicaragua schools also teach sex education to inform teens about the dangers of having unprotected sex. Speaking to Dr. Quezada, I was informed that rape happens a lot here so that has some to do with the pregnancy rate. On top of that, there are a lot more girls getting married in their teens to start families early on in life. In Colorado they made birth control free and the teen pregnancy rate dropped a 40 percent according to an article on New York Times. So why isn’t this the case In Nicaragua? Culture has a lot to do with why it might not be so effective in Nicaragua. It is a lot more socially acceptable for teens to get pregnant in Nicaragua than in the states because of the way their culture functions, they don’t shame a teen for getting pregnant, they just accept that it happens. Of course there are a million other reasons like transportation or lack of education about birth control. Dr.Quezada says teen pregnancy is something they are continually working on and campaigning about to lower the rate of teen pregnancy.