Mexico ranks no. 1 for teen pregnancies among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to figures compiled by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The highest number of cases are recorded in the states of Coahuila, México, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Morelos and Nuevo León, with 77 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Approximately 31% of adolescents aged between 15 and 19 have had sexual relations, according to Alejandro Rosas of the National Institute of Perinatology, but not responsibly: 56% of those cases resulted in pregnancies.
A 2014 survey revealed that 44.5% of partners in that same age group used no contraceptive in their first sexual encounter.
Coahuila Health Secretary Jorge Verástegui Saucedo has stated in the past that high teen pregnancy rates in the state are caused both by “irresponsibility among females and inattention on the part of the heads of families.”
State Deputy Sergio Garza Castillo told Congress that pregnancy and childbirth complications are the second cause of teen deaths worldwide, and that every year teenage girls aged 15 to 19 subject themselves to dangerous abortions, contributing to maternal mortality and lasting health problems.
Garza also stated that in countries with low and medium-low income levels the children of women younger than 20 face up to 50% greater risk of prenatal mortality or of dying in the first few weeks after birth, when compared to the children of women aged between 20 and 29.
The younger the mother, the greater the risk for the child, said the deputy.