I read this article and I found myself thinking about the circumstances of my own birth. My mother was seventeen when I was born (one week prior to her 18th birthday, to be precise). At the time, she was already a high school drop out. My parents married a little over a month and a half before I was born. I was born three months prematurely.
The area that I live in is not terribly well known for teen pregnancy. I can only imagine the kind of potential harassment that my mother had to deal with when she went into the grocery store. I was married and in my late twenties when I was pregnant with Cuddle Bear and I was harassed. It makes me question if there were better support in place if my parents would have waited to conceive me. At the same time, RockerChick was conceived and born while her father (my brother) and her mother were still teens in school.
Thirteen years later, I question if the needed knowledge was disseminated by the sex education classes we took. It seems like a lot of teens don't realize that some one can get pregnant on their first time having vaginal intercourse. It seems like many people who are in their twenties (and several in their thirties) don't understand that basic fact. It makes me feel disappointed with the whole affair.
Many people flail about screaming something about babies having babies. I still say the answer is prevention. And that prevention is a result of education. We can't just teach kids the mechanics of sex. We need to teach them about how to be responsible with sex. And for those teens who wind up pregnant, we need to provide them the same supports that we offer to grown women.
And I am of the opinion that greater supports need to be available to women who are in areas of economic distress. If we work together we can not only ensure the health and well being of these people and their children. We can maintain the strength (if not increase it) of the community. A community where people are educated, healthy, employed, and have it within their means to 'follow their bliss' is going to be one that is strong.
Somedays, however, I get the distinct impression that such a thing exists only in my imaginations.