Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Helping Teen Parents DOES NOT Encourage Teens to get pregnant

Anytime anything is done to help teen parents nay sayers love to say that helping teen parents encourages teenage pregnancy.

Nurses and doctors aren't told that they encourage the ill and hurt to stay sick and hurt by helping them.
Teachers who specifically work with 'troubled youth' aren't told that they encourage more youth to be 'troubled' as a result of their work. These people are praised for their work and they should be. But so should those that help pregnant and patenting teens. They are doing much needed, unglamorized and over looked work with little to no budget.

They are doing the unsexy work of trying to help a young parent who feels like giving up because everyone has told them to. A young parent who has yet to address why or what may have led to them becoming young parents. The people who work and advocate for young families do so much more than prescribe a solution. They work to identify and understand the who, what, where, why and when that has led the young parent to where they are now and seek to help young parents help THEMSELVES.

We have all heard the statistics that children born to teen patents have a high rate of becoming teenage parents themselves. Why? Possibly because their parents weren't helped to be able to stay in school, go on to compete higher education and were left by society to 'work harder' in a low wage job thus continuing the cycle of teenage pregnancy.

As a young parent and reproductive rights advocate I DO encourage things. Things like EQUITY, comprehensive SEX EDUCATION and policy change just name a few.