Thursday, September 04, 2008

What is the problem with teenage pregnancy?

All around the world, throughout history, teenage girls give birth to children.

Did you know that biologically, the healthiest time for a girl to have a baby is when she is about 17?

Yet here in the West we frown upon teenage pregnancy. We see it as a social problem; as a social stigma. A thing to be curbed by public health and educational intiatives.

However, if it is natural for young women to have babies, why should we treat it as a problem? Can we not help them without casting judgment on them for making a socially stigmatised choice?

The problem with our society is that we have a narrow idea of the lifestyle that a young woman should follow. The expectation is to succeed in school, go to university, get a career, then have children.

However, not everybody's life neatly fits that pattern.

There are many girls out there who will not succeed at school. They will struggle to find a meangingful job. For them, becoming pregnant is a much less bleak option than living in a bedsit and working in a food processing factory. For many girls on urban estates, becoming a mother is the pathway to the best status they can acheive. Should we not recongnise the rationality of that choice? Should it not be treated with respect?


Sanctification said...


Yes and there's nothing stopping a girl from getting back to her education and training after having children. For them it is not much more than an issue of support, from (in the US) the government and also from extended family and the church.

I wonder how many times a girl will go without help as a result of the stigma, the stigma being "sin" from the church, and irresponsibility from society?

But being a mother is one of the most serious and influential responsibilities there could ever be. Teenagers grow up and get going in life because of it.

Girls get abortions for these reasons:

1 -- the boy breaks up with her
2 -- the church/family/her conscience calls it sin
3 -- she thinks she can't give it the support it requires

But #3 is really easy to fix -- lots of pregnancy support services out there to get her "stuff."

#1 and #2, not quite so easily resolved.

Thanks for looking at this,

Celestial Fundie said...

Michele, thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.

Jonathan Hunt said...

In general I agree, and christians should treat all people with respect.

However, the point should be made that God ordained children to be brought up in families. Outside of the commitment of a serious relationship we should not be 'encouraging' young ladies to see pregnancy as a career path. Nobody wins.

Jonathan Hunt said...


I have never ever met anyone who thought that having a baby was a greater sin than murdering it.

Celestial Fundie said...

Thanks for the comment, Jonathan.

Sanctification said...

Hi again,

Jonathan, you said:
" Outside of the commitment of a serious relationship we should not be 'encouraging' young ladies to see pregnancy as a career path. "

I agree with that. Do you though, see the need for walking a fine line in what we encourage, because of abortion? Abortion is so simple and easy. Which is better?

Thanks, Michele