The piece continues:
Vulnerable and unsupported teen parents and their children can face a multitude of disadvantages. New Zealand studies show that compared with women who had not become mothers by age 21, teen mothers are:
nine times more likely to have no qualifications
twice as likely to suffer from major depression
twice as likely to be substance dependent
three times more likely to be suicidal at times
and three times more likely to be dependent on a benefit.
Well this is refreshing. An acknowledgement that having babies very young is neither good for the mother nor the children.
But what would I put this unusual frankness down to?
Pleading on behalf of the Trust? They will always need more funding.
But the pleading highlights the way government handles the problem. Pour in more and more corrective resources.
Instead of saying, hang on a minute. This is avoidable. Why are the statistics so high? What has the welfare incentive got to do with it?
Health analysts have no problem grasping the concept of prevention. It is cheaper (and better for the patient) than treating disease.
In the social arena however the attitude seems to prevail that the high teenage birth rate is fait accompli, a cultural tradition even.
And as I re-read the article it strikes me, looking at the cover and the smiling faces, that this is published by the MSD as a good news story. Look at us. Look how well we are doing..."