It seems to me that teen pregnancy is not the real issue, it's just a visible symptom. The real problem is poverty.
My views on teen pregnancy have changed quite a bit from when I was a teen being told over and over that pregnancy would ruin my life. I know think of it as something that could be quite positive. Yes, it might mean a life that looks different than the one our culture sells us on TV and in movies, but babies and family bring a great amount of joy and growth to parents, no matter what their age.
I just don't understand how being biological able to reproduce, and then doing so can been seen as something that is happening before a young body is physically ready, the brain is developed enough, etc... Don't first time moms in their 20's, 30's and 40's still go through some growth and brain development (learning!) just like a teen. The only real difference is life experience and having a baby is just that, experience.
I read the book Radical Homemakers recently and I was struck by the idea that in the past, young couples would start their families in their late teens and grow up together, becoming stronger as they matured. The very act of becoming parents was essential to maturity. I know I did not fully mature until after I gave birth to my first. It was weird how I felt that kind of thing happen in my mid 30's, when I thought I was all grown up already.
Sometimes, I think our culture has really perverted our thinking on some very basic and natural processes that are the essence of being human. I feel a little cheated by the feminist movement, as it was presented to me (your a modern women, so don't screw yourself by starting a family, get out there and work), and the whole idea that having kids in your late teens and 20's is some kind of death sentence, dooming you to a life of financial ruin and misery.
I think this kind of thinking has repercussions for all of us mothers, no matter what our age.
It's sad that that message "it will ruin your life" is so deeply ingrained that even as a married women in my 30's with a house and a job and a DH with a job, that both of my planned pregnancies and now my surprise pregnancy are met with such crappy, "oh no, what have you done?", attitudes from my parents.