Opinion: Teen moms need support

Taylor Miksic

Taylor Miksic

Taylor Miksic is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Taylor Miksic at [email protected].

I’m sure most of us have had a friend or a friend of a friend get pregnant at a young age out of wedlock. According to Planned Parenthood, each year about 750,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant in America.

A statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that one in five teenage girls who have had sex said they would be pleased if they got pregnant, which seems difficult to understand because they are still so young.

For other girls, however, teen pregnancy is something that is entirely unplanned and is certainly frowned upon by most in society, but it’s not the end of the world. Sure, it changes lives, but that doesn’t mean it has to change for the worse.

I’m not saying to go out and get pregnant at 16; sex is something that should be reserved for a secure and mature relationship. Even then, if the couple isn’t ready for a child, protection should be used. I’m simply saying to make the best out of a situation.

Hope Phillips, a senior at Shaler Area High School in Pittsburgh, is a girl who got pregnant at a young age. Phillips is balancing school, a job and morning sickness; she is expecting a baby in April. She is realizing that it is going to take a lot of effort to raise a baby.

“When I first found out that I was pregnant, I cried for a good 45 minutes,” Phillips said.

Society can be cruel to young pregnant girls and teen moms, but what they really need is help. Support is extremely important to have when going through pregnancy and motherhood, especially when the mother is still a child herself.

“Telling my parents was really hard, and I was really scared,” Phillips said. “At first I had the father’s support with things, but now I don’t.”

These teens and their families must make big decisions, including whether or not to keep the baby, and society treating pregnant teens as lepers may affect these decisions.

According to Pregnant Teen Help, teenagers account for 19 percent of abortions, but all the teen moms I know personally who have kept their babies make excellent mothers. All these girls need is a little support.

Some people argue that pregnant teens don’t fully understand what they’re getting themselves into, and there is no question that few teens are fully capable of raising a child on their own.

Raising a child becomes a full-time job, forcing teenagers to give up their former lives, but for some girls, this is a risk they are willing to take.

Society shouldn’t tell those girls who are willing to take that risk and keep their baby that they are wrong or that they can’t do it. More support and understanding should be shown to these teens and their families; they are under enough stress.