The global incidence of girls under 18 giving birth has declined steadily for decades, but with 7.3 million children born to teenage mothers each year, the costs to their health and society remain staggering, according to a U.N. population study released Wednesday. In the State of World Population 2013 , the world body observes that 95% of the teens giving birth each year live in the developing world, where access to birth control and protections against early marriage and sexual violence are weakest. Early pregnancy brings great risk to the health and welfare of teenage girls, the report asserts. It also deprives a national economy of the benefits of better educated young women who enter the workforce instead of staying home to rear children, the report said.
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Pregnancy bias at work ‘needs to be tackled’
Bias against pregnant women or those returning to work after maternity leave ‘needs to be tackled’. Credit: PA EHRC head Mark Hammond said it is “very concerning” that women in modern society are discriminated against at work because they choose to have children. Experts will investigate employers’ practices towards workers who are pregnant or on maternity leave, and these employees’ experiences.
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Yes, men should pay for pregnancy coverage, and here’s why
And that’s all society, because unhealthy babies and mothers impose a cost on everybody — in the expense of caring for them as wards of the public, and in the waste of social resources that comes from children unable to reach their full potential as members of society because of injuries or illnesses caused by poor prenatal and postnatal health. Child mortality rates are among the most important indicators of a nation’s overall health profile, and the U.S. rate stinks compared with the rest of the industrialized world’s — at 7 deaths of children under age 5 per 1,000 live births, it’s worse than Israel’s, South Korea’s, Japan’s and every Western European nation’s. That’s why maternity and newborn care and pediatric services are among the 10 health benefits that Obamacare requires to be part of every health plan. Some of these benefits are so important, they’re required to be among the free benefits of catastrophic health plans that may be sold to individuals under the age of 30. They include anemia screening for pregnant women and folic acid supplements for women of childbearing age. The most important reason is this one: 3.
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