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7 May, 2010 18:57

American teens planning to get knocked up

For the first time in more than a decade the teen pregnancy rate in the US has risen. Many American teens planned to get pregnant and don't regret their decisions.

Three in 10 American girls get pregnant by the age of 20, and experts say about 20 per cent of those pregnancies are planned.

After three months of dating, 19-year-old Nadia Calix and her boyfriend Jose Andrade decided it was time to have a baby.

"I really wanted a baby when it comes down to it… It’s a little love story basically. When I met him, I knew I wanted to marry him and have his children," Calix said.

Calix dropped out of college and moved in with her boyfriend's mother. They have already decided to alternate school days when she gives birth to accomodate the baby.

17-year-old Aminta Fuentes also planned to get pregnant. She now juggles completing high school and raising her one-year-old daughter Vanessa. The pair just moved into a one bedroom apartment with Fuentes' boyfriend, who works at a local electronics store.

" We were very committed to each other. We had also talked about marriage and stuff like that," Fuentes said.

Some experts think that American culture is to blame for the number of teenagers who plan to get pregnant.

"In the United States we clearly do not have a social norm that teen pregnancy is not OK. I think by comparison, countries in Western Europe, Asian countries and elsewhere have a very clear social norm that teen pregnancy and starting a family at a young age is not in the best interest of the teenagers, nor of society, nor for the children," said Bill Albert from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.