Mexico faces teen pregnancy ‘epidemic’

Mexico City, March 10 (IANS) Teen pregnancy has reached an epidemic level in Mexico, with about 400,000 cases each year accounting for 20 percent of pregnancies across the country, according to an expert.

Teen pregnancy is spreading from traditionally poor rural communities to wealthier urban areas, and from Mexico’s poorer states to the richer ones, Xinhua news agency reported citing a news report in El Universal daily.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that we have an epidemic of adolescent pregnancies in Mexico,” said Carlos Weltian, an expert from the Institute of Social Research at Mexico’s National Autonomous University.

“Mexican culture sanctifies maternity and gives it social status,” he said.

El Universal highlighted a pregnant 13-year-old girl named Joanna, who said: “I was very excited to find out I was going to be a mom, because not every woman can have a child.”

Joanna said she is planning to continue schooling and that her mother is going to take care of the baby.

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