prevention teenage pregnancy The country is not experiencing its best moment. Two reports revealed structural and organizational gaps and that not enough public funds are allocated to pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health services from state or municipal territory.
The above according to reports by the agency EUROsociAL+ and, more recently, by the Colegio de México and Pfizer.
In the state of Mexico alone, 32,455 new cases of mothers between 10 and 19 years of age were registered in 2021. Of them, 514 are aged between 10 and 14, and those between 15 and 19 are 31,941.
This was revealed by the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences (FCPyS) of the UAEM with the Dragonfly project.
It is specified that slightly more than half of mothers between 10 and 14 years old are concentrated in 16 municipalities. In Ecatepec, Nesaualcoyotl, Toluca, Valle de Chalco Solidaridad, Chimalhuacan, Naucalpan and Chalco there is a third of the total.
Apart from nine out of 10 mothers between the ages of 15 and 19, they are located in 20 municipalities.
The 2030 agenda is difficult to implement
The National Strategy for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy (ENAPEA) began in 2015. Mexico set two goals: eliminating the birth rate of girls-mothers between the ages of 10 and 14 and halving the birth rate in the 15- to 19-year-old group.
Both commitments are in the 2030 Agenda. It took the country almost half a century to halve that percentage. In 1960, there were 156 mothers for every thousand adolescents. In the year 2000, it may be halved, registering 77.8 per thousand.
In 2015, the ratio was 74.3. By 2030, the country should report a percentage of 37. The scenario is bleak and maybe once again Mexico will blush in front of the WHO and in front of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), since the trend shows that we will be well above this indicator.
On September 21, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) published the birth statistics. Despite the fact that there are conditions to know the total number of adolescent mothers in Mexico, it seems impossible. ENAPEA works with outdated statistics.
The international benchmark is the specific birth rate. The state of Mexico has 17 municipalities with the highest rate. San Simon de Guerrero reached 12.2 per thousand mothers-girls aged 10 to 14. This municipality should be the object of special attention.
In second place is Juchitepec with 4.2, followed by Tonanitla, Sultepec, Morelos, Ixtapan del Oro, Aculco, Atlautla, Ayapango, Coyotepec, Santo Tomás, Teoloyucan, Coatepec Harinas, Otumba, Luvianos, Atizapán and Xonacatlán.
As reported by the Libélula Project, of the UAEM’s FCPyS, in 2021 there were no cases of mother-girls between the ages of 10 and 14 in 31 Mexican municipalities.
In the group from 15 to 19 years, the highest are 16 municipalities. Ixtapan del Oro ranks first with 124 per thousand adolescents, while Villa Guerrero reaches 81 per thousand. The lowest rates, between 29 and 20.5 per thousand, were found in Tlalnepantla de Baz, Atizapán de Zaragoza, Tultitlán, Metepec, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Coacalco de Berriozábal, Acolman and Cuautitlán.
Teenage motherhood and poverty
The trend is clear: with greater poverty and low education, a higher adolescent birth rate is observed. That is why this public policy, if we want to make progress in the country and in the district, must be cross-sectoral and with a vision based on the inter-sectorality of genders.
City councils should be involved in actions for education, health, employment, social development, human rights, prevention, as well as in drawing attention to sexual violence and reducing violent marriages.
Almost 12,000 adolescents were minors when they became mothers. In 2021 alone, 36 out of 100 had difficulty in pregnancy, childbirth, the puerperium and raising a child; most for the first time.
In this group, eight out of 10 were between the ages of 16 and 17. Six out of 10 had completed secondary education and were engaged in domestic work. Three out of 10 have a job or are looking for one. Every second person lives in a cohabitation and only 1% is married.
To put these numbers in perspective, in Mexico City (CDMX) 3,415 minor mothers are registered; nearly a quarter of that reported on Mexican soil.
The country’s capital has just under half of the adolescent population of the state of Mexico. Differences in birth rates are assessed; however, profiles in education, occupation and marital status were similar in both areas.
One in five men who fathered minors in the state of Mexico remain anonymous; There is no data for 2761 of them.
Six out of 10 were adults. At least a quarter were five or more years older than their 17-year-old partners. 400 cases were reported where they were over 30 years of age; question for the Attorney General of the State of Mexico.
The education of these men is dominated by the secondary level, and almost one-sixth of the cases have primary or secondary education. Although eight out of 10 have a job, their income is uncertain depending on their education and age. Herein lies the heart of the cycle of poverty.
In 3 thousand 415 cases of CDMX, concealment of paternity was also observed, but a slightly higher percentage was reported, reaching 26%.
Nearly a third are five years or older than 17-year-old mothers. Six in 100 of them were 30 or more years older than their underage partners.
Improve public policy
Detailed knowledge of the social profile presented by mothers and the men who conceive them will allow to improve ENAPEA in each federal unit and in each municipality. FCPyS will be called upon to collaborate through its Libélula project, as it has the capacity to generate indicators at national, municipal and local levels.
In the district, it is urgent for the State Group to take advantage of the public resources which, though scarce, are allocated by the Fund for the Welfare and Advancement of Women (FOBAM). In 2020, they allocated 2.4 million to the Women’s Secretariat to tackle this social problem.
In 2021, according to the report prepared by El Colegio de México and Pfizer, the said secretariat did not receive resources from FOBAM. In 2022, the same secretariat was allocated 2.2 million for this problem.
The matter was included in the budget approved for 2022 by the LXI Legislature of the State of Mexico, but it was not specified exactly what amount would be assigned to figure 5.4, called “Reducing teenage pregnancies.”
Author: Luis Alfonso Guadarrama Rico
*Luis Alfonso Guadarrama Rico is a researcher at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences (FCPyS) of UAEMex.