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Seeing a pregnant teenager makes many people uncomfortable. The discomfort is rooted in facing the reality that the comforting lies these people tell themselves about youth not being sexual beings, don’t have questions about sex, and aren’t having sex are wrong.
By finding comfort and silence in their disillusions they too play a role in the high rate of unintended pregnancies experienced by teenagers and young adults everyday.
I remember being a pregnant 15 year old and complete strangers glaring at me, stopping me to lecture me on what a mistake I have made and how terrible I make the world, and telling me how dumb I was for not just saying no and keeping my legs closed.
After having my daughter some of these things subsided because I was no longer a pregnant teen they felt inclined to harass instead the disillusions took on a new form. When people would see me with my daughter they told themselves I was the baby sitter, older sister, nanny, cousin, anything BUT the mother.
The few rude brave ones would approach me and ask me if I was her mother. “YES!” I would proudly answer with the new mother glow only to be scoffed at, looked up and down, and walked away from.
Teenagers become pregnant for a variety of reasons: inadequate sex education, lack of access to affordable contraceptives, no one to talk to about sex and relationships, poverty, boredom, sexual assault, planning a pregnancy, all types of reasons. However, the overwhelming consensus is elders are failing to help youth navigate the world of relationships and sexuality in a healthy way so teens are figuring it out on their own.
Don’t like it? Change it by changing the way YOU (read adults) address and deal with approaching the topic. It isLet’s Talk Month… maybe you should start listening and stop comforting yourself with lies.

  • Ndan.anderson

    Awesome article Gloria! I just hope the people of our generation remember this when we are those adults facing younger people that are pregnant. This was my whole reason for starting Heart to Heart! Reach back and help the community instead of judging it!!

  • Michael R. Burhans

    Spot on and wise. I think anyone that underestimates you is a fool. Blessings to you and your wonderful daughter, she is lucky to have a mother like you.

    As the father of daughters I have always talked with them, taught them, and made sure that they know no matter what I am there for them. One of the things I have taught them is that people who judge are almost always jerks. When I see a pregnant teen or young mother I tip my hat, smile, and wish them well. Amazing the smiles you get in return. treat people they way you would like to be treated and you will never go too far wrong.