Who suffers the consequences of teen pregnancy?

12May09

Bristol Palin and Jaime Lynn Spears might be the new faces of teen pregnancy these days, but this week’s New York Magazine’s excellent article on teen mothers brings us back to reality.  In real life, teen mothers are most likely to be women who live in poverty.

The article tells the story of a teenager in the Bronx who got pregnant when 14 years old. The father was a 15 year old. The young woman lives in a 2 bedroom apartment with her extended family and struggles to raise her child and attend school. She knows that she will not be able to expect help from the father of the baby and her future in uncertain.

Its hard to picture this girl in your head when you hear the right try to describe this young woman as a slut or a victim. She was irresponsible by having unprotected sex, but that goes hand in hand with being a 14 year old.  Is it fair to say that she should bear the blame for getting pregnant? And is it fair that she must carry the burden of raising this child alone for the rest of her life?

Anti-contraception extremists hate Plan B because it gives women a chance to avoid the consequences of having sex. And this is exactly why we should support Plan B and make it easy to get.

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