The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is abstinence. The only way to prevent getting an STD is to abstain not only from sex, but from all sexual activity. I'm an adult and I know this to be fact. I will teach this fact to my children. Sex before marriage is a sin. I will teach them that too. They will learn it at home, school, and from their religious teachers.
The Guttmacher Institute reports "Although only 13% of teens have ever had vaginal sex by age 15, sexual activity is common by the late teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 teens of both sexes have had intercourse."
So, while abstinence is obviously the BEST option, it is not always a realistic expectation of our children. We as parents can do our best to teach our children to wait, but we cannot be with them at every moment. We cannot be by their sides to make decisions for them. We have to accept reality and arm our children with the tools to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and potentially life threatening diseases, should they find themselves in a situation where their bodies are thinking, instead of their minds. We have to give them the knowledge of the consequences of sex. We have to let them know about the 15 million new cases of STD's that are reported each year, half of those belonging to people ages 15 - 24. I will never be the mom that hands my kids condoms and tells them to have fun, obviously, but I WILL be the mom that provides my children with the knowledge to make an educated decision, should they decide to go against what we as parents HOPE for....that they'll wait. Knowledge is power. Knowledge can save their life. Knowledge can prevent a pregnancy. Hoping and praying your kid will wait until marriage is about as solid of a plan as hoping and praying to retire by winning the lottery. We have to prepare them for the real world. And in the real world - teenagers have sex.
And they get pregnant. We have a wildly popular series on TV about teenage mothers. Teen pregnancy is an epidemic. It's not going anywhere either. In a conversation about this abortion came up. Most people I know are strongly against abortion. My feelings on abortion are pretty strong as well, but I am not pro-choice or pro-life. I'm somewhere in the middle about it. I personally do not know anyone that's had an abortion - well, I might know someone - but they've never advertised it or talked to me about it if they have had one. So my feelings do not come from personal experience. I just have an opinion about it.
This conversation that took place was on facebook. On the page of a preachers wife. Obviously, everyone was pro-life. "God NEVER makes a mistake" "EVERY pregnancy is a miracle, even if you can't see that right now". Yeah? I disagree. I personally believe that abortion should not be used as a means of birth control. I think if you got pregnant unintentionally, there are other options, namely adoption. There are tons of people out there that would do anything to raise your unwanted baby. But, there are certain circumstances that I find abortion acceptable. A rape that resulted in pregnancy is absolutely an understandable reason to want and have an abortion. Another situation I thought of was a single mom who is pregnant and is advised by her doctors that the pregnancy will likely kill her (for whatever reason). Should she give birth and leave two children without a mother, or have an abortion, to be here for her living child?
And in the case of teen pregnancy? I'm on the fence. So I can't really speak with absolute certainty how I would react to that situation, if it were to present itself in my life. I know as an adult with two children and a supportive husband to help me, being a mother is still hard. I know that only 50% of teenage mothers finish high school. And an even lower percentage attend college. Getting pregnant at a young age and becoming a mother will most likely result in a difficult life.Not only will the teen parents suffer, the child will suffer as well. Not in ALL cases obviously, but in most. You cannot expect a 15 year old to be able to teach a child life lessons they themselves have not yet had a chance to learn. While I think abortion in most situations is wrong, I can't be 100% sure I wouldn't suggest it to my child if they found themselves facing that situation.
You have to think about all sides of it. It is quite easy to sit back and think that NO pregnancy should ever be terminated. It is quite easy to judge when your not faced with making that life changing decision. It is quite easy to say that even a pregnancy that was a result of a violent sexual act is a miracle, but I'd be willing to bet that while in theory that sounds great, in reality, if that happened to you, you just might find yourself asking God to forgive you while your sitting at the doctors office.
- Some of you know me from my old blog "Moving to Morocco" where I wrote about meeting my husband and, you guessed it, moving to Morocco. Well, we're back now, and I want to write about other things (but yes, we're still happily married). There's no real subject to this blog. I just want to write. If you have a subject you'd like my opinion on, just let me know. I also plan on doing advice posts. If you have something you'd like an outside opinion on, e-mail me anonymously at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks for reading!