RISING NUMBERS OF TEEN PREGNANCIES ALARMING - ANSON ROA

MANILA, March 13, 2004
 
(STAR) Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) senatorial candidate Boots Anson-Roa yesterday expressed alarm over the high incidence of teenage pregnancies in the country, saying that young mothers account for at least 510,000 of the 1.7 million babies born annually.

Anson-Roa, a one-time Gintong Ina Awardee, sought measures to solve the alarming incidence of pregnancies among young women since they contribute to soaring population growth in the country.

"This means that teenage mothers are contributory to our high population growth rate," said the senatorial bet, who is running under the ticket of KNP presidential standard-bearer Fernando Poe Jr. and his runningmate, Sen. Loren Legarda.

The multi-awarded actress who hails from Bicol attributed the high incidence of teenage pregnancies to early marriages, sexual permissiveness and rape.

"Teenage spouses are too young to handle the duties and responsibilities of family life. They are not prepared for it. These are the reasons why the future is bleak for many babies born to young mothers," Anson-Roa said.

She expressed her determination, if elected to the Senate, to file a bill creating a Family Commission that shall be responsible for initiating measures to promote family unity. In this context, she said the roots of broken homes should be actively addressed.

The efforts of the Family Commission should be supported by all sectors of the society, Anson-Roa added. She said the Commission should initiate policy reforms in the field of family relations. Anson-Roa said parents have the primary responsibility of stopping their children from early marriages so as not to compound the social problem of teenage pregnancies, which then contribute to a high population growth rate.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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