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Teen Pregnancy and Welfare

            Attempts to Diminish Teenage Pregnancy in California through Cuts in Welfare.
             (1991, December 18) California Plan to Cut Welfare May Prompt Others to Follow. The New York Times p. 1:1; D21:4.
             The term "welfare" has two separate and contrary definitions: (1.) aid provided, especially by the government to people in need, and (2.) health, happiness, and good-fortune. Those afforded with welfare are not financially fortunate and require assistance from the government for stability. Welfare is a dispensation for those in need. Although it is provided for munificent reasons, the system is often taken advantage of or improperly utilized. My analysis evaluates the content of an article printed in The New York Times describing a welfare cut in an effort to lessen the number of teenage pregnancies. In this instance, Governor Peter Wilson of California felt that it would be beneficial to cut the dispensation of aid to help promote a behavioral change and produce an overall decrease in the state's number of adolescent pregnancies. I feel that Wilson's trepidations are best described in a quote by Kathleen Mullan Harris, author of Teen Mothers and the Revolving Welfare Door, .
             "Disregarding sanctions against premarital sex, ignoring the institution of marriage as a prerequisite for family formation, and rejecting the traditional structure of two parents raising and providing for children, unwed teenage mothers promote reliance on public assistance and family dysfunctioning, and in turn, teach the next generation that nothing different is expected of them." .
             The teenage pregnancy rate was on the rise from 1990 through 1992. Consequently, in 1991, the concern was that improper behaviors were being condoned by the government's generous allocation of funds to adolescent mothers, by cutting these funds teenagers may be more cautious with their sexuality. My purpose is to outline the events surrounding this article's publication and explicate The Times" purpose in having the article printed.

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