Talking to a 16-year old about her abortion still feels strange to me. Unwanted pregnancy shouldn’t be something that any woman has to deal with, but particularly not when you’re still in high school. When I think back to when I was in high school, my biggest issues were drama with my friends, acne, make-up, but not whether to have an abortion. I really do believe that’s the way it should be. Why do we have to grow up so fast?
Maybe I’m naïve, and I did go to high school with girls who became pregnant – although I only ever knew of those who carried their pregnancies to term. It just hurts my heart when I talk to a young girl struggling with whether she should have an abortion. I talk to teens; sometimes they're confused and don't really know what they want to do. I talk to them about what an abortion means and adoption possibilities. While these girls may be young, they're still thoughtful, and it's clear while talking to them that they put a lot of time into considering their options. I got to thinking that I want to do something that helps girls her age not have to be put in this position, to make decisions that should be beyond their years.
Perhaps avoiding unwanted pregnancy 100% isn’t an option, or at least not a realistic option, but can’t we do more? We need better, and in some cases, some sort of sex education in schools. To hell with political correctness. Condoms and good information on how to obtain birth control and emergency contraception should be available in the schools, as well as basic reproductive anatomy and how one becomes pregnant in the first place.
Thinking back to my high school days, I had no sex education. The closest thing that came to sex ed was one class period where my male teacher muttered about the menstrual cycle. There was no mention of how to avoid getting pregnant in the first place, evidenced by the fact that I saw so many teenager mothers roaming the halls of my high school. Abstinence-only education is also not a viable option. People have sex, people enjoy sex, adults, teenagers – they all have sex. Closing our eyes, plugging our ears, screaming at the top of our lungs hoping it will go away doesn’t work. We need to do something to recognize this reality, that telling kids they should abstain until they are married doesn’t work in many cases.
Can we please do something to stop unwanted pregnancies before they happen? Can we help these young girls put off having to make more adult decisions than they have to?