A Feminist Take On Teen Mothers–From A Former Teen Mother

I’m a feminist. I was also a teen mom. I have read slightly anti-teen mom things recently from the left. I wanted to address those things.

I’m not going to tell you how I was mature for my age, which I was. Instead, I’m going to make a pragmatic case that, so long as teen moms exist–which they do and will continue to until we have better local things to do than have sex, have proper sex education and teenage girls and boys have better access to birth control—that we should evaluate our society and make it so teen moms can thrive.

Having been a teen mom, I know the unique challenges. Child birth and raising children is difficult in “ideal” circumstances let alone when one still needs to finish high school, get a job and a driver’s license and hopefully go on to college.

Fortunately, when I was six months pregnant, I moved to Florida, a state in which a school for teen parents is required in every county. There, my teachers were my role models. They fought to provide us with a quality education, including parenting, nutrition and health classes for both us and our babies.

I have heard leftists say that they themselves had sex as a teen and that they think their teen having sex if fine so long as it’s safe. These are reasonable positions. However, as soon as a girl gets pregnant and keeps the baby, there’s worries about the “morality” of this. On the other hand, if the young lady has an abortion, it’s all swept under the rug.

The worry should be that it is now increasingly more difficult for this young lady to achieve things in life, to succeed, to gain an education. And that decreases the likelihood of the baby’s achievement. When I was a teenager, the statistic was that only 3% of teen mothers graduate high school. And, of those, only 1% went on to college. I had to make up my mind to fight and struggle to be that small percentage of young women with children going on to college.

We need to be more accepting of teen moms instead of scolding them, judging them and making life even more difficult for them. There’s a fear that catering to the needs of teen mothers will only encourage more teens to have babies. That wouldn’t be so if we also have the things in place I mentioned above, such as proper sex education. We cater to the needs of so many kinds of people already—not to make things less of a meritocracy but to even the playing field. Why not cater to the needs of teen moms?