Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are We Defending Teenage Pregnancy?

Earlier today, while listening to a radio program, the discussion was about John McCain’s choice for his Vice President. Naturally, the discussion turned to her qualifications especially since it’s been discovered that her 17 year old daughter is with child. A caller brought up an interesting aspect to this story. He said that we’re now in a position of defending teenage pregnancy. Almost glorifying teenage pregnancy.

I believe he couldn’t be more wrong and I also believe that he couldn’t be more right. Confused? Me too. I’m going to start with how he couldn’t be more right. Teenage pregnancy has the possibility of becoming defendable in certain segments of society.

We now have a Vice Presidential candidate in this position. To the hard partisans of her party, this could be turned to say ‘so what. She’s only done what all teenagers do and her only mistake was not using contraception.’ They will defend the circumstance regardless of what they are, not because of their beliefs, but because it’s “their” candidate. This would be akin to saying “I’m voting for the black man because I’m black.” Or “I’m voting for the ticket that has the woman because I’m a woman.” In cases like that, I believe that caller could be right.

We see this attitude all of the time, on both sides. Liberals will say ‘I’m willing to pay a little extra in taxes to solve the problems that others are having which is causing a drain on the states economy.’ Then they move their investments into tax free investments so that they don’t have to pay those taxes.

However, I believe that the caller couldn’t be more wrong. Teenagers are not mature. They are caught between puberty and adulthood. They still want to be a child and do child things, but not where any adult can see because they want to be able to be seen as an adult. A boy will want to go out and play baseball in the summer, but he’s got this girlfriend that he wants to take out to a movie on the weekend, so he works a little to make money for that while still trying to find time to play some baseball.

I am the father of an 18 year old boy that thinks he’s an adult and wants to be heard, but he’s still not mature enough to know that he could be wrong and the adult might actually know better. I’m forever saying that I wish I was 18 again when I had all of the answers. Now that I’m in my fifties, I know that I didn’t have all of the answers then, and I still don’t have all of the answers.

Teenagers want to experiment. They want to try things that mom and dad have said is not proper. They want to know why it’s not proper. They don’t have the maturity to say no all of the time to things that they shouldn’t do, and they are pressured to say yes.

If a 30 year old woman gets pregnant, she knew in advance what she was getting into and made a choice. She’s mature enough. But a teenager is not mature enough to make those decisions. This shows with each teen that gets pregnant and with each teenage boy that finds himself having to marry, or having to pay child support for the next 18 years. The other options is to come up with a couple of hundred dollars (or go to the school and government and let them pay for it out of our taxes) and end the pregnancy. This is often done so that the parents never knew that there was a pregnancy.

When a teenager makes a wrong choice, is that a reflection on the parents? A little yes. In some cases, it may even be a direct reflection of the values (or lack of values) of the parent. But not always. Teenage pregnancies happen in the poorest of families and in the most well off families.

Nothing is 100%. Teenage pregnancy can be the lack of upbringing by the parents. However it can also be due to teenage experimentation without looking forward to the consequences of their actions. Maturity is then forced on the young teenagers. They must make a major decision. How to tell the parents. Should they tell the parents. Whether to continue the pregnancy. Marry the father/mother of the unborn child. Raise the child alone. Put the baby up for adoption.

Regardless of what is thought about, an accidental pregnancy when it happens to a teenager, it comes from a lack of maturity that gives one the ability or at least the thoughtfulness of looking ahead and saying “if I do this, what could be the repercussions”. Most teens won’t think about the ramifications. It’s the heat of the moment.

Teenage pregnancies are a mistake in judgment on the teens part. It’s not, in most cases, a lack of good parenting. Teaching abstinence doesn’t stop teen pregnancies. Being abstinent stops pregnancies. Contraceptives don’t stop teen pregnancies. It just lessens the chances of pregnancy. Using contraceptives actually says more about parenting than not using them. It says that it’s okay to have sex as a teen. Since contraceptives are not 100% effective, permitting the use of them is telling a teen that it’s okay to engage in adult activities. It doesn’t relieve the teens of making a mistake in judgment, it’s advocating putting off the responsible decision making.

So am I defending teenage pregnancy? No. I can’t speak for the VP candidate, but I suspect that she didn’t condone the activity. I can’t think of even one parent that I know that would want to see their teenager pregnant or responsible for a pregnancy. Once the activity has been done and the mistake is magnified with a pregnancy, the decision now has to be made. Parents guidance should become most important at that time.

Once there is a pregnancy though, the situation must be dealt with. Barack Hussein Obama says that he wouldn’t want to force an unwanted child on his daughters. I have yet to hear anyone accuse the VP candidate or anyone in her family say that they are about to have an unwanted child added to the family. Would they have preferred this happened a few years from now, with their daughter married? More than likely. Would their daughter prefer that she be pregnant with a husband rather than have to go through the embarrassment on top of everything else that she would be going through if her mother wasn’t a public figure? I suspect so. That wasn’t to be for her, however.
The liberals, and the liberal media are keeping this in their reporting for their own political purposes. They are making this pregnancy even more difficult for this teenager that is still learning to deal with mature issues that she’s not mature enough to handle alone as yet.

I trust her mother and father to know their daughters ability to deal with being in the spotlight, and to protect her if the spotlight starts affecting her still more. The boyfriend is going to be at the convention tonight, which tells me something about his character. He didn’t run out on the girl. He didn’t hang back and hide while his girlfriend had to go through the national spotlight alone. He’s gone to join her. I’m sure that the press will make a big deal out of his being there and create more pressure for these two teens.

I would never advocate teenage pregnancy, and I would never defend teenage pregnancy, but once the pregnancy is a reality, the situation must be dealt with and from all appearances thus far, these two teens seem to be doing well and I’m quite certain that a lot of that has to do with the parents of both teens and how they are supporting these two.

Should McCain and Palin win this election, which I believe they will, we’ll hear when this daughter has her baby and I believe that we’ll see an outpouring of support for the daughter and the new baby from people all across the country.

It is wrong for the press and the liberals to use a child, and she is still a child. They risk making this pregnancy more difficult than it needs to be. They are walking a dangerous line here if anything goes wrong with this pregnancy due to stress. This teenager has enough to deal with in plotting the rest of her life, she doesn’t need the added stress of the liberals and the liberal media passing moral judgment on her.

Defend teenage pregnancy? Nope. No way, no how. Defend the teen once pregnant? ABSOLUTELY!!!

I welcome your comments.


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