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Question of the Day: Where Are The Non-Pregnancy Pacts? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Site Administrator   
2012-05-02 01:41 pm

 

 

 

At the end of last week there were multiple articles popping up online about the resurgence of pregnancy pacts. Hellobeautiful.com had uncovered a Facebook photo of four high school girls showing off their expectant bellies (pictured above, click image to enlarge) while their friends commented that the pic was “kute” and wondered who would be the first to drop. I didn’t even want to click on the articles because the last time I had heard about pregnancy pacts was last January when a Memphis high school came under pressure for 90 of its teens being pregnant or having a baby that school year. The rate was chalked up to abstinence-only teaching, accidental pregnancies and unfortunately the thought that being a teen mom is “cute.” Before that it was the 2008 Gloucester High pregnancy pact involving 17 teens that sparked the Lifetime Original movie, and being four years removed from that, I wanted to believe that there was no way this craziness had become a trend again, but there the blatant evidence was staring me in the face. Looking at the photo like someone trying to decipher hieroglyphics, all I could think was, where are the non-pregnancy pacts?

 

I don’t particularly get bent out of shape over teen pregnancies. I do in the sense that it’s an unfortunate situation, an accident of the utmost consequence, and a life-altering experience that makes me feel sympathy and compassion for the teens involved, but when it comes to intentionally deciding you are going to create a child knowing full well you cannot care for it, I can’t wrap my head around that choice. Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote a great five-point article to try to ease his frustrations with the reality behind the image seen in the photo. I love how he presented his ideas from an optimistic viewpoint of what he hopes are the circumstances behind these girls’ decisions, but I’m going to remix his list into my own non-pregnancy pact from the perspective of a teen girl. If you’re at the point of considering making a pregnancy pact there’s no reason to sugar coat reality; you need the facts laid out for you in the form of tough love.

 

We are not fully equipped to provide for any kids without depending on the help of the state or living off of relatives until we are deep into our 20s:

 

We can be as optimistic as we like but the fact is that if we’re in high school, still living with a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin because we don’t have the means to provide for ourselves, possibly because we aren’t even of a legal working age yet. Considering we can’t provide for self, we certainly can’t provide for another without being a burden on someone else in order to keep up with the pregnashians. Making that decision in spite of this knowledge is not fair to myself, my child, my family, or society.

 

While attempting to become pregnant we’re also putting ourselves at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV:

 

Knocked up may not be the only thing we get while we forego protection to have a baby. The HIV rate for women in certain areas of the US now rivals African nations and it’s not slowing down. Just because the virus is no longer a death sentence doesn’t mean it’s easy to live with by any means, not to mention it can be passed on to the child, like other infections such as Herpes. It’s selfish to play with our health and the health of our baby in that way.

 

Our children’s fathers will not be in our lives forever:

 

High school sweethearts that turn into 40-year marriages are not a dime a dozen. The likelihood that we will be broken up by the end of the school year, let alone the end of our high school career, let alone the end of my nine-month pregnancy term is far greater. Since this still seems to be a trend, it bears emphasizing that a baby will not keep a boy, if anything the feeling of being trapped will push him away even more. In the slight chance that my child’s father will stick around and be a father, his financial means are the same as mine meaning there isn’t much he can do for our baby.

 

We’re making things harder on ourselves unnecessarily:

 

It’s already tough to go on to college after high school, it’s even tougher to get an advanced degree, and the prospects of employment aren’t great for anyone right now. Imagine trying to do that while raising a child by myself. Not to mention the fact that my child’s father will likely be dodging the criminal justice system, making babies with someone else, or avoiding child support payments. The universe will throw enough crappy stuff at me on my own without signing up for it intentionally when I know the odds of what I’m getting into.

 

We are becoming statistics and perpetuating the cycle:

 

Just because your behavior makes you part of a particular statistical subcategory doesn’t make you a statistic, it’s the mindset that does. When I make a conscious choice to make my life worse and my child’s life worse as if procreation is a fad, I perpetuate the cycle. It shows my mental capacity is nowhere near where it should be to have a child, let alone my financial ability, and it speaks volumes to the type of values—or lack thereof—I’ll instill in my child. Thinking that I turned out “alright” under less than ideal circumstances is not an excuse to make someone else’s life simply “alright.” If I bring a child into this world, it deserves to be given a higher quality of life and going to the mall four deep with strollers and my 16-year-old like-minded friends does not qualify.

 

Having been born to a younger mother who, at 20 years old, put me before everything once she had me, I know that miracles can come out of young single motherhood. However there is a huge difference in maturity level and job prospects between someone who is still in high school and a young adult. Furthermore, there’s a stark contrast in the level of selfishness between these two scenarios. Choosing to have a child conceived accidentally when you aren’t ready in some ways says I accept my responsibility and I am going to correct my ways in the interest of this child that I want. Making a pregnancy pact says I’m following the flock despite knowing better and what is better for me and my child and there isn’t much of a better word for it than selfish. Since women seem to be the only ones making such pacts, this advice is geared toward them, but boys who think that it’s cool to spread their seed from here to the ends of the earth could certainly use their own list. (MadameNoire)

 

What hard truths would you tell a teen girl considering a pregnancy pact?

 

 

 

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