It confuses people when I speak positively about teen parents. When I say that I gave birth to my first child the day after my 17th birthday and that it was the best birthday present I ever had, people don’t know what to make of that. I personally think it’s quite normal for a mother to frame in her thoughts the birth of her first child in such a way.
When I talk about the amazing young women I have known who have had babies in their teen years, it’s unfortunately misconstrued as a positive endorsement for girls in their teen years to have babies. I can’t think of an instance I would advise a teenager to plan to have a baby. I have known some to intentionally conceive and while I think it’s typically because they’re trying to fill a need for love in their life,I don’t feel it’s the best idea ever. Still, those girls and every other girl who becomes pregnant in her teen years, I support them no matter what. I support them if they choose to abort. I support them if they choose to have the baby & allow another family to adopt. And I absolutely support and encourage the young mother who chooses to have a baby and raise it herself. I don’t care how she got pregnant. After it happens, that part is over and done with. It’s time to move past it and help her put a plan of action in place so that she’s successful as a young woman in her own life and as a mother.
To make it clear, I’m all about preventing teen pregnancies. I am not about focusing shame and heaping a great deal of emotional and moral bullshit on a girl (or her partner, if she has one) if she does become pregnant.
As I mentioned the other day in a rambly rant that no one read, there is a huge part of teen pregnancy prevention that is not being addresses. People want to blame slutty teenage girls ( no mention of boys. Teenage girls are capable of immaculate conceptions,perhaps?) and irresponsible parenting. That’s the least of what’s going on. 20% of all teen pregnancies are the product of rape. 60% of teenage girls have a history of being sexually molested or sexual assaulted. So, more than half the girls we’re focusing shame on in the scope of teen pregnancies are at risk and in situations beyond their control that are going to increase their odds for becoming pregnant.
This is something I want people to think about a lot when they’re condemning teenagers for making bad choices. Maybe it wasn’t their choice. Maybe we need to put more effort into sexual abuse and assault prevention programs as part of a comprehensive , national sex education program. Yes, access to Plan B is crucial for these girls especially. If Uncle Douchebag has his way with his niece she might not go talk to her parents or the police about it (many victims do not report their abusers ever) but she sure as hell also shouldn’t have to conceive his baby either .
I don’t believe we should condemn any teen for getting pregnant, anyway. Things happen. I’m a grown woman in a committed relationship who knows how to have sex “responsibly” and I still have had unplanned pregnancies. One thing I have learned about teen mothers is that they are diverse . Every girl has her own set of circumstances and an individual story, just like anybody. The judgement isn’t going to accomplish anything in helping that girl, and thereby helping society, to thrive.
When it sounds like I’m celebrating teen motherhood, what I’m doing is acknowledging young women as mothers doing what mothers do with more odds stacked against them. I’m not telling girls to go out and get pregnant. I’m just here to tell them that if they do, it’s going to be ok. Their life isn’t ruined. They can still be fucking awesome and kick some ass at life.
And what’s the deal with this lady? Sheesh. Stupid Fox News. I don’t even know why I’m bothering because we know she’s going to say something stupid…
Yep, stupid all over the place.Hallelujah,teen pregnancy! Proof that the movie Juno worked and rejected abortion. She makes it sound like the most valuable thing about teenage pregnancy is that it can provide families with adoptable babies. And what is this stigma against adoptive birth mothers? Please. When I was pregnant as a teen, I planned on adoption. I was applauded for this choice. When I gave birth and changed my mind, that support and encouragement that got me through the pregnancy was GONE. There were actually people who wouldn’t even speak to me anymore because what I did was “stupid”. So, I reject a stigma on birth mothers and teen girls who would rather have an abortion than face that. Are you clueless as to the stigma girls and women who have abortion face? Sorry. Try again, Nina Easton.