My opinion

By Mr. Mohamed Najimudeen
Corresponding Author Mr. Mohamed Najimudeen
Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Melaka Manipal Medical College, - Malaysia 75150
Submitting Author Mr. Mohamed M Najimudeen

Teenage Pregnancy

Najimudeen M. Legalising Teenage Pregnancy. WebmedCentral REPRODUCTION 2013;4(1):WMC00944
doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2013.00944

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Submitted on: 06 Jan 2013 05:52:44 AM GMT
Published on: 07 Jan 2013 10:40:49 PM GMT

My opinion

The Malacca state Government in Malaysia is keen to legalize the teenage marriages. The age of marriage for the girls to be reduced to 16 and for boys to 18 years. When this decision was announced, there were severe criticism and many articles were published in almost all the news papers in Malaysia vehemently opposing this decision.

As a doctor looking after the teenage mothers for more than 20 years, I welcome this decision and I personally congratulate  the  Chief  minister and the state government for their timely decision.

If you walk into the maternity unit of the Malacca general hospital, you would come across unmarried teenage mothers almost daily. This is not only peculiar to Malacca but the situation is same all over Malaysia.

Unmarried pregnancies are not very much accepted by the society. Underage boy can be sentenced to jail for having sex with underage girl. If the boy is sent to the  jail and the girl and her baby is not accepted, what is their plight? Discarding the newborn babies would continue to escalate.

Birth of a newborn baby can be registered in Malaysia. However if the baby is born out of wedlock, the name of the father cannot be included in the birth certificate. You will be shocked to read  that  257,411 babies are born without the name of father between 2000 to 2008 in Malaysia. In other words 78 babies are born daily out of wedlock. Babies born without father’s name will certainly carry a stigma. They can be harassed all the way in their life. Can’t we register the marriage and give them a life?

Throwing the newborn into dustbin is a real trauma to the parents. They are  guilty and depressed throughout their life. However when the boy is sent to jail and girl has no place to stay, this appears to be the easy way to escape. They pay the price for this great sin  during their whole life time and afterwards. Legalising their marriage may give them a life.

This is not opening the flood gate encourage teenage pregnancies. After the delivery of the baby still we have enough time to educate on contraception. Unfortunately the contraceptive advises are not reaching the needy people. The Government of Malaysia had allocated RM 13.7 billion to the health budget for the year 2009. The health authorities should  make use of this great opportunity to help our innocent teenagers by way of fertility education, contraceptive advise and termination of unwanted pregnancies.

Strictly speaking, all of us are responsible for their teenage pregnancies. It is the responsibility of the parents, teachers and supervisors to guide the innocent tender teenagers in the correct pathways. The religious, moral and cultural values are fading among the youngsters. Pornographic and other materials are very freely available. Haphazard use of mobile phones had increased their vulnerability. Night food outlets are another nightmare in this country. The youngsters spend time until late night and their whereabouts are unknowns. Have we taken any steps to prevent this scourge?

I fully endorse the statement of the chief minister of Malacca, Mohammad Ali Rustam, since this was intended to address social problems. For the state government, this is the best step to deal with the problem of abandoned babies and unwed pregnancies.

Source(s) of Funding

No funding

Competing Interests

No competing interests


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2 reviews posted so far

News Report
Posted by Dr. Mohammad Othman on 14 Jan 2013 06:29:24 PM GMT

Legalizing Teenage Pregnancy
Posted by Prof. Kulvinder K Kaur on 08 Jan 2013 01:50:31 PM GMT

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