Saturday, 26 March 2011
I was feeling a bit nostalgic since being at college has been getting me down recently, so I went on a website I used to go on back in my teenage years. Now as a teenage girl with a long term boyfriend I found this website particularly useful in terms of expert and peer advice in addition to the cool games.
I was reading this story about this teenage girl who was 17 years old, about to begin her second year of college and who had accidentally become pregnant. In all fairness, she admitted that she could've done more to prevent this situation, but she was asking for help and advice.
Some of the peer reactions were horrible. I have no idea if it was due to the age of the peers or the way they were raised or just simple narrow-mindedness that brought reactions without thoughtful consideration. These reactions weren't necessarily horrible, just a little bit insensitive.
Some of the people clearly thought that they were giving advice that would be most beneficial to the mother - Leaning heavily towards getting rid of, or giving the baby up for adoption. On the surface, these seem like a reasonable and well thought out conclusions to come to, but I would like to challenge those views. Not to say they're wrong, just throw them out there for consideration in a different light.
The biggest response seemed to be that this girl should have an abortion, which admittedly solves the problem of an unwanted child, but is overlooking the fact that it is a child life. There are many unfortunate people who are unable to have children through no fault of their own, and it seems ridiculous to be throwing life away when there are people that are willing to nurture and raise someone else's one night stand.
Even if the girl in question was to 'get rid' of the baby, the psychological impact of having an abortion - especially on a child you could've kept if you fell pregnant the year after, could be a very difficult thing to deal with. Even more so if there is pressure from the family and from the institute of learning that you are at. (Even though they are meant to support you, some have been known to discriminate).
If a woman agrees to an abortion, but feels in any way pressured into it, she may end up resenting all those who seemed to think it was a good idea at the time. This also applies to a man. If he feels his partner has rushed into or is dead set on having an abortion and has not even consulted him, he may also develop feelings of resentment.
It's alot more of an intricate and touchy subject than the people replying on the website made it seem. It was almost like they were trying to be insensitive to exaggerate the need for the mother to get rid of the child before she formed an emotional bond with it and started second guessing herself.
This leads me onto the next and less popular option:
People who seemed to think you shouldn't keep the child tended to be more in favour of abortion, presumably because of the emotional bond formed during pregnancy and the fact that it is notoriously difficult to carry a child to term and give it away. However, some people commented on the fact that she had made this mistake and that the least she could do was give the child a life that it deserved by giving it away to a family that desperately wants children, but unfortunately cannot have them.
This option is often associated with depression and all kinds of other unpleasant aftermath. Having never had a child I cannot comment on the love that a parent would feel for a child - especially the mother (not implying that fathers do not love their children, only pointing out that the mother has a special bond with the child which lasts throughout life, as the mother shared her body with the child for nine months).
The loss of this child be it through adoption or otherwise would be devastating to the family unit. Giving up a baby for adoption to save a relationship may also be the thing that ruins it.
KEEPING THE BABY:
Keeping the baby, is not something that people generally advise really young people. However, most can actually make it work. Others can ruin children's lives, but that has nothing to do with their age, because that is just a number. It has to do with how mature they are and how they come to terms with the fact that they are expecting a baby.
The other thing that seems to be essential to the process is that there is a good support network. Like I said, not many people on this website advised the girl to keep the baby. And, instead of using things that older mums generally look forward too, like feeding and buying stuff, etc., the commenters were using them as deterrents. Babies bring joy, but there has to be a really good support network and collection of friend and family.
Outside of these three options, what really concerned me the most was that, the people offering advice to this girl, had never been in her situation, did not fully understand her situation and, therefore, could offer comprehensive advice. I think that this is a glaringly obvious reason not only for sex education, but education for the options after accidental conception, and birth and beyond.
Does anyone else agree?