First off, I read several years ago about a study or studies which found that most sexual activity among teenagers occurs in the afternoon, when parents are at work. I don’t know if that is true, but would anyone be surprised if it is? The best way to make sure that young teenagers don’t get pregnant is to closely supervise them. That isn’t always possible, and even when it is, some parents just won’t do it. In a perfect world, we would never be faced with a 14 year old girl getting pregnant, but in the real world, it happens, and it always has, and it always will. That scenario is a big part of the reason why some support abortion. Having personally known at least 3 people who got pregnant and gave birth at very young ages, I don’t see it as a total disaster. The three situations I am personally familiar with involved very different people, and they all took different paths, but no one’s life was ruined. It was difficult for all them, for sure, but having a baby wasn’t the life ending tragedy that we are so often told it will be.
The first case involved a gay waiter whom I worked with. He was in his late 20’s at the time. I was shocked when he started talking about his teenage daughter. He got a girl pregnant when they were both 13. According to him, neither of them even really knew what sex was, or what they were doing, but they knew enough to get pregnant. I can’t remember whether she was 13 or 14 when she gave birth, but either way, she had the baby, and she kept the baby, and the waiter’s Dad payed child support until the day the waiter turned 16. At that point, the waiter started paying child support, and he told me that in over fifteen years, he had never missed or been late on a payment, and there had never been even one cross word between him and his child’s mother. He was always very involved in his daughter’s life, and it was clear from the way he spoke about her that she was the light of his life. Knowing him, I suspect that he would have decked anyone who suggested that his daughter was a mistake. At the time I knew him, his daughter was getting straight A’s in a local high school, and seemed by all accounts to a happy, well adjusted girl.
The second case is a woman I know who gave birth at age 15. The father of the child totally disappeared when he learned of the pregnancy, and she gave the baby up for adoption. She then went on to graduate from high school, and she did at least some college-enough to have a management position in a bank. When she was in her twenties, she married a guy who owned his own business, they had a baby, and she now has three grandchildren. She was thrilled to meet the baby she gave up for adoption. He is doing very well.
The third case is one I just learned of recently. I know two women who are sisters. They come from a family of 7 kids. I always knew this, but never thought anything of it, until I learned that their mother died at age 54. The youngest kid in their family was around 30 at that time. I was speaking to one of these women, and I said to her that he parents must have had kids very young. She nodded and said, “Yes, my mother was only 14 when she had my oldest sister.” She didn’t say how old her father was, and I didn’t ask. Her father stuck around, married her mother, and they had seven children by the time her mother was 25 or so. Many people would view this a nightmare scenario. I don’t get the impression that it was. These women speak of both their parents with incredible love. If you put a gun to my head, and asked me to name the smartest, most well adjusted women I know, it would be these two sisters. They are remarkable in both intelligence and virtue.
Obviously, if you asked any of the people described here if they want their 14 year old to become a parent, the answer from all of them would be a resounding No. However, if you asked them if a 14 year becoming a parent is such a disaster that it justifies abortion, their answer to that would be a resounding No as well. All of them are very pro-life, and the don’t just talk the talk, they have walked the walk.
How did we get to a place where having a baby-the most natural thing in the world-is considered by some to be the worst thing that can happen?