Wow, I just read an article titled, "Why are 1 of 8 Girls Pregnant at Robeson High?" Can you guess what the article's about? Apparently, 115 of the 800 total females at a Chicago high school are pregnant. That's astounding. Officials say that the pregnancies are occurring despite prevention talks. What's going on here?
According to the article, officials say that a mix of factors is to blame. "It can be a lot of things that are happening in the home or not happening in the home...Absentee fathers are another factor." According to LaDonna Denson and several Robeson students, "parents not talking to teens and, in some cases, the pursuit of public assistance also factor into the pregnancies. Non of them thought they'd be moms at such a young age. They said they have support at home. But not all girls do. In fact, some girls get thrown out of the home."
I think a positive in this story is that 115 women are not having abortions. That's wonderful news! But the problem is that teen pregnancy is a scary thing. No matter how you choose to deal with an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager, no option will be easy. Adoption, parenting, abortion. All three choices have lasting consequences. Once you get pregnant, there is not an "easy way out." I can't help but wonder what type of "pregnancy prevention" this school is doing? Are they simply telling kids in health class, "don't have sex, don't do this, don't do that?" Because I heard the exact same thing, and I didn't believe it would happen to me. I thought that birth control was a safe bet. Obviously, now we all know that I made a wrong assumption.
I have begun working on a letter to students, a slide show from my pregnancy, and a brochure about teen pregnancy and open adoption. I think it would be absolutely amazing to be able to speak to these students at Robeson High School, but at the very least I would be more than happy to send them the teen pregnancy prevention materials in hopes that they would use them to educate students. I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is, but I do know that if I heard someone like myself speaking about my experience with unplanned pregnancy, I believe that I would have made a different decision five years ago. I think when a teacher or an adult tells a teenager to do something or not do something, it's easy to simply tune that message out. When a peer or a young adult shares a personal experience, it is sooo much easier to relate to that.
On another note, I came across a blog called, "After Abortion." The more I read personal testimony from post-abortive women, and the more I meet and speak with post-abortive women, the more I believe that "abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women" (Feminists for Life). I read through some of this blog today, and I realized something that I never thought about before: Post-abortive women are afraid to speak out against abortion because they fear being shunned by both pro-lifers and pro-choicers. What an excellent point! When pro-life people bash women who have had abortions, they are only adding salt to the wound. There is not reason to shun them; after all, don't we all make mistakes? Redemption. Post-abortive women are the people who have so much power because they have personal testimony about the lasting emotional, psychological, traumatic effects of abortion. For example, Annie's Story, Pamela's Story, and Deanna's Story all share their personal accounts of how abortion has impacted their lives. How wonderful it is that these women have had the courage to share their stories and to tell the truth about abortion.
Deanna says that her blog "is a vehicle to express my opinions on choice as a woman who has been on both sides and now sees no other way but to recognize that LIFE is immediate and not to be discriminated against due to how early his/her development is. Life is a gift from God and His to give or take, not ours.....We do believe that God forgives and offers a momentum to post-abortive women to healing. It is a process and different for each woman but my hopes are to make sure that if women don't feel they can ever tell another soul about their abortion experience, then at least they can view these videos and posts and identify with my experience knowing that they are not alone and that healing is theirs for the taking as well."
I think it's time that we stop shunning people for their mistakes, actions, sins, etc. We are all sinners, we are all human beings, and we are all subject to temptation and sin. We have no authority to judge others, to shun, or to criticize. Let's leave the judgment up to God, and let's concentrate on working together to protect the innocent human life that He created.
And now, I'd like to leave you with a stupendous video that I made with the help of Julia & Mary Beth Leonard to help you all prepare for the North Carolina State Fair this year:
Funny Thankfuls at the NC State Fair