Monday, August 17, 2015

The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success by Natasha Vianna via Medium

Natasha is a teen mom, amazing person, and reproductive justice advocate. She recently wrote a piece titled "The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success" below is one of my favorite parts. 

"When I became a teen mother, I decided to see my obstacles as temporary adversities rather than allowing it to define my future, my daughter’s future, and who I was. I began to look more critically and analytically at my surroundings, my history, and my family’s history only to realize that my life may have very well been the same today regardless of parenting status. Many adults blamed my new challenges and overwhelming stress on my growing belly; a common regurgitation of morals and values set forth by those leading privileged lives. Identifying the parts of my life I wanted to change gave me strength to continue and my first task was separating teen pregnancy prevention from unplanned pregnancy prevention.

The truth is: addressing teen pregnancy needs to be radically changed to focus on preventing unplanned pregnancies because not all young parents’ pregnancies are unplanned. Whether planned or unplanned, shaming teen moms, vilifying them and setting them on a path to failure does nothing to help, it simply makes their lives even harder than it already is – to their own detriment and that of their child. Society is shaming them for the socioeconomic issues many were born into and shaming them for their background, cultures, decisions, and everything that pushes them away from common approval. If this is not unfair, I don’t know what is. Instead of stigmatizing teen parents, we must recognize all young people are entitled to make decisions about their own reproductive health – whether we agree with their decisions or not." 

Please do yourself a favor and read the rest of the piece here.