- An expert has opined that most teenage pregnancies occurring during the Covid-19 pandemic were unplanned or unwanted
- Dr Kim Jonas, a specialist scientist at SAMRC, stressed that pregnancies in adolescent girls under the age of 16 should be considered rape
- Girls as young as 10 years of age are among 23 226 teenage girls who reportedly fell pregnant in Gauteng between April 2020 and March 2021
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An expert has opined that most teenage pregnancies occurring during the Covid-19 pandemic have not been planned or wanted.
Dr Kim Jonas, a specialist scientist at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), made the remarks during a webinar on Friday.
Social behaviour change to reduce risky sexual behaviour amongst youth and create awareness on prevention of statutory rape was the title for the webinar, reported News24.
She said the council's research into the "global problem" indicated a high pregnancy rate among adolescent girls during the pandemic. Jonas posited that about 70% of pregnancies are unplanned or unwanted.
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Highlighting a noteworthy social ill, Jonas stressed that pregnancies in adolescent girls under the age of 16 should be considered rape. In South Africa, the age of consent is 16.
Age of consent in South Africa is 16
The age of consent has no bearing on the gender or sexual orientation of the persons involved. The law also states that no child under the age of 12 years can consent to sex.
Last month, Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi revealed that girls as young as 10 years are among 23 226 teenage girls who fell pregnant in Gauteng between April 2020 and March 2021, IOL reported.
The reaction to the sentiments made at the webinar gave many South Africans food for thought and something to ponder. This was evident in the reactions that filtered through on social media.
Mzansi casts its opinion on controversial statistic
Briefly News coursed down the comments strip to bring readers all the colourful reactions to the news story.
"Were not planned? Do you want to tell us there [are] planned teenage pregnancies?"
"I know of a 12-year-old girl who asked a 14-year-old boy to make her pregnant and also mentioned it was the right time as she'd had her period not long before. What is happening to our kids? Schools should start teaching kids real things instead of how to put a condom on."
"Wait, are there ever any “planned” teenage pregnancies??? Also, the activist is correct, it’s definitely statutory rape."
"This is so beyond me. Planned teenage pregnancy? So 30% of them were planned. What has become of us?"
"Hold up, teenagers plan to have children?"
Gauteng records more Than 23k teen pregnancies in 1 year, others aged only 10
In related news, Briefly News previously reported that the Gauteng province has recorded over 23 000 teenage pregnancy cases between April 2020 and March 2021.
A total of 934 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 gave birth in that time, according to a News24 report.
Briefly News understands that from 23 226 pregnancies, 2 976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 opted to terminate the pregnancies while 20 250 teenagers decided they would keep them.