Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teenaged Mothers

I've lined up a post for tomorrow's Quoting Quiverfull feature of No Longer Quivering quoting something Vaughn Ohlman posted at True Love Doesn't Wait.

Rather than cutting and pasting it here I'll boil it down for you - Married teenagers pregnant = good and unmarried teenagers pregnant = bad slutty immoral. He didn't exactly use those words but that was his distinct import. He waxes very hand wringingly over the fact that having a baby out of wedlock in our world is considered by most polite society to be no big thing.

Quite frankly I'm glad it's no big thing now, no public slut shaming, no acting like the woman bearing the child, not the man, is the evil scum of the earth.

Several years before I left my old judgmental church I got to see first hand what happened when my dear friends Whitford and Diane brought their pregnant out of wedlock mentally unstable twenty year old daughter when she was ready to pop to our church. Most every one hugged the poor girl and told her how glad they were to see her again. A few people cut her dirty looks but mostly she was treated like the precious child of God she was.

With one exception, one BIG exception - Tommy Smith, the man I've chronicled my many years of struggles with. If iron sharpens iron then what in the hell does self-righteous abuser and stubborn woman do to each other? More like sticking spoons in angry hornets nests.

After the sermon is over and most folks are still visiting in the sanctuary I slipped down the hall to the restroom. As I passed the secretary's office I notice that Tom has this poor pregnant girl with the thin grip on her emotions in the office and he's talking to her. Later I hear that what I actually glimpsed was Tom telling her what a disgrace and bad example for the youth she was setting, how she had no business being at church at all in her condition.

Do you really think that Jesus wants us to shame those that haven't exactly been perfect Christians, that end up wearing their 'sin' publicly? Did Jesus ever slut-shame anyone in the Bible?

I don't think anyone would argue that kids raised with two parents in a loving relationship aren't better off in many ways. That's really not the point, but what about helping those that are pregnant out of wedlock, helping the poor single mothers, simply accepting them as they are in that moment?

You want to cut down on the number of out of wedlock pregnancies? It's simple. Make sure every kid knows how their bodies work. Have sex education taught in all schools. Education is power.

Speaking of education. Make every freshmen in high school do the Baby Think It Over exercise. My youngest, Laura, had to take care of Baby Think It Over for a week and by day three was sobbing and crying how trapped she felt. She got enough of an experience of what being completely chained to someone depending on you all the time was like.

Any teenager having a baby isn't a good idea in my eyes, married or single. Statistics show that you're more likely to issues in a teen pregnancy such as low birth weight, increased rates of anemia, premature birth, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Teens have lower rates of proper prenatal care and are put at an educational disadvantage and socio-economic disadvantage. Not to mention that their bodies are still changing and maturing before reaching their twenties.

Delaying child birth till you are in a better place physically, emotionally, economically, finished your education (whatever that level is) and only when you are mature enough to realize you will be spending all your waking moments caring for a small demanding someone and knowing you are capable of that sacrifice.

Anything less cheats both the mother and the child out of the best possible chances.

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