Teen pregnancy rates on the rise in New Brunswick
Some figures surrounding teen pregnancy have been released in New Brunswick and the numbers are raising some concerns.
According to the study, teen pregnancy rates in the province jumped by 40 per cent between 2006 and 2010, with Moncton accounting for a quarter of the pregnancies.
In comparison, teen pregnancy rates rose by 17 per cent in Nova Scotia and dropped by two per cent on Prince Edward Island.
Beth Lyons of the Moncton YWCA says the economic standing of the province plays a big role in teen pregnancy.
“When there are better outlooks in terms of earning potential and economic development, people tend to be more oriented toward their future, thinking ahead long term, and when they’re not doing that, they might be engaging in more risk-taking behavior,” says Lyons.
The YWCA hopes to build a teen pregnancy centre that would house about 30 teens and their babies.
“We would also have, hopefully, education onsite, a daycare,” says Lyons.
The YWCA hopes to build the complex behind the New Brunswick Community College. Lyons says the neighbourhood and environment would be good for teen moms.
“We want them to be in this home where they look out and see a lovely community where people are walking their dogs, children are playing in the yard and it’s safe, aspirational for them,” says Lyons.
Erin MacDonald lives close to where the centre would be built. She says she has not problem with the location, as long as it’s not too disruptive.
“I guess if it doesn’t affect the resident or the flow of traffic, that kind of thing is a concern of mine, especially with all the children that live in the neighbourhood anyway,” says MacDonald.
Moncton resident Denise Oullette gave birth to a son 13 years ago, when she was 18. She says she had a supportive family to lean on for help, especially her mother.
“I remember calling her crying and being so stressed out having a little one, not knowing certain health questions,” says Oullette.
Because of that support, Oullette says she was able to go to university and graduated with a degree in social work, so she can help young girls who find themselves in a similar situation.
She hopes the new centre will be built so that teen moms who don’t have a strong support system can get the help they need.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis