Teen Pregnancy: The Harsh Reality Of It All


Photo courtesy of Desireé Dade

Desireé Dade, Staff Writer

The social taboo of teen pregnancy is one of many judgments that teen mothers tend to face on a daily basis. Most of the time, teen pregnancy is unprecedented, and unexpected. While it is hopefully not the ideal, or wanted circumstance of a girl or young woman to have a baby at that age, support and external resources are absolutely necessary once the unforeseen occurs. From the time I was in elementary school, I remember being told not to get pregnant. This was absurd to me as I began to age and mature, because why would that idea or concept even be presented so young? I later learned from my own experience; however, that those preventative talks and advice were truly in my, and many other young girls’ best interests. 

In July of 2020, I found out that I too, would become part of a statistic: teen moms. Aside from being overwhelmed with various emotions, what stayed in the back of my mind was knowing the harsh reality I’d face once people knew. Not only do you take on the disappointment of your parents, but also your grandparents, other family, teachers, coaches, and sometimes even your friends. Beyond disappointment, there’s so much backlash and judgment from people who have not the slightest idea of who you are, or how you got in this position. People will argue or preach that you should’ve done this differently, should’ve prevented it – which is all true – but the fact of the matter is – what’s done is done. What any mother – teen or not – needs during an unplanned pregnancy, is simply unconditional love. This does not mean you support or agree with what’s going on, but if you love the young woman in that circumstance, you will BE there for her in her darkest hours and teach or condemn her later. 

In no way am I or will I ever encourage or promote teen pregnancy, but what on earth would possess someone to knock a young woman while she’s already down? People’s first assumption is always that the girl is irresponsible, stupid, or just laying down with anyone. What infuriates me most about this, is what about teen dads? What about the boy that got her pregnant? Where is his backlash? Where are his reprimanding talks? I don’t wish that on anyone, but if people are going to bash the mother, why is there such a double standard?  Truth is, we know why. A man will never have to carry a baby. A man can decide at any time that he doesn’t want to be a part of that child’s life. A man gets to walk out if he wants to. A man has a choice. A mother however, will always have to be a mother whether there’s help or not. Most people would make the argument, especially for teen mothers, that there are other options: adoption and abortion. The problem with this, is that the young woman will receive ten times more backlash and judgment than she already faced. This leads me to my next point about teen pregnancy which is simply- women’s rights. 

Women should have the right to do whatever they please with their body, teenager or not. People seem to be all for women’s rights, body empowerment, and freedom of speech,  or anti sexualization UNTIL the topic shifts to teen pregnancy. As stated before, this circumstance is not encouraged, or ideal but that young girl that you’re bashing, talking about, judging, and HURTING… needs a community, too. Everyone needs a safe space, and as an upcoming teen mother myself I know that without the support and comfort of the people that care about me, I would’ve fallen apart and lost myself such a long time ago. 

As times, society, ideals, beliefs, and practices change, we all have to remember that things happen. Nothing more – nothing less: THINGS HAPPEN. Teen pregnancy is one of these things, that even when attempted to be prevented, it can still happen. Just because it’s not the best or encouraged circumstance, teen moms deserve just as much support as any other mother. Nobody deserves to be looked down upon the way that they/we are, and if you don’t agree with it simply don’t talk about it. Everybody makes mistakes, and teen pregnancy is one of them, but I see every child as a blessing. The child is never the mistake, and no teen mother, or any mother, should ever feel like it is.