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Take 30: Talking teen pregnancy

The Story

At 16, "Little Betty" is "Too Young," as the title of this 1964 episode of Take 30 puts it. She's in a predicament many young women face: she's pregnant, unmarried, and planning to give up her child for adoption. In cities across Canada, there are homes where girls like Little Betty can live, away from public view, while they wait for their babies. Sister St. Francis runs one such home in Toronto, and here she tells Take 30 viewers how pregnant teenagers end up in her care.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Dec. 8, 1964
Guest(s): Little Betty, Sister St. Francis
Host: Anna Cameron, Margaret Norquay
Duration: 16:06
This clip was edited for copyright reasons.

Did You know?

• Take 30 wasn't shy about discussing controversial issues. In its first week in September 1962 it asked two panellists whether abortion should be legalized.
• Options for pregnant teenagers were few in the 1960s. Many teenage girls were not prepared for marriage, or their boyfriends weren't. Abortion was illegal in Canada until 1969, when it was permitted in certain circumstances. Raising their babies alone, or even within the family, was often strongly discouraged by parents and society. For many teens, adoption was the only solution.
• Statistics Canada didn't start tracking teenage pregnancies until 1974. That year, the rate of women aged 15-19 who gave birth was 45.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women. In 2004 it was 30.5 women per 1,000.
• Since 1996, teen pregnancies have resulted in more abortions than in live births.



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