Teenage Pregnancy: Who Is To Blame?

Last update: 04/01/2019

By Salbiah Said

This is the first of a two-part article on out of wedlock pregnancy involving teenage girls.   

PETALING JAYA (Bernama) -- Research has shown that an average of 18,000 teenage girls in Malaysia get pregnant each year. Out of this number, 25 percent or about 4,500 cases involve pregnancy out of wedlock.

Citing the Ministry of Health's 2015 statistics, experts from UM Specialist Centre (UMSC) said while the latest figures for 2018  have not been released, they believe teenage pregnancy is on the rise.

"These numbers could be the tip of the iceberg as many cases are likely unreported," UMSC obstetrician and gynaecologist Associate Prof Dr Aizura Syafinaz Ahmad Adlan told Bernama during a joint interview with her sister, UMSC psychiatrist Dr Aida Syarinaz, recently.

The data also showed that around 14 in every 1,000  underage girls in Malaysia fall pregnant every year, which add up to an average of 18,000 girls per year. In comparison, Singapore’s rate is four pregnancies for every 1,000 underage girls, and Hong Kong's, three out of every 1,000.

Dr Aizura Syafinaz said in Malaysia social acceptance of teenage pregnancy was still poor, restricted and secluded. It is regarded as a taboo as premarital sex, incest, rape, sexual abuse and teen marriage come as a precursor.....