My head has been swimming with thoughts of these 17 high school girls in Mass. who made a pact to get pregnant. A friend of mine said I should be careful writing about it, because it is still just speculative, but last I heard several of the girls had admitted to there being a pact. Has anyone heard for sure?
Anyway, what struck me as odd about the news story is that school officials are using this situation to bring up discussions about whether or not birth control should be offered at the school. My first thought was, “What good would that have done? These girls planned to get pregnant. They simply would not have used birth control, no matter how available it was.” Apparently, many other people thought the same thing.
Then I heard that there was a daycare facility at the school so that students who have children can finish up their high school education, at least. My first thought about that was “Oh, how nice. Well at least these girls have some sort of chance of raising their children under livable conditions,” because I can only imagine how hard it would be to be a single mother and not even have a high school education. It’s hard enough for me and I have military training and some college. But my reaction to the schools daycare facility was not the norm.
I was amazed at how many people felt the day care facility encouraged students to get pregnant. As if giving girls who made a mistake a chance to make a descent life for themselves and their children was a bad thing. Too many people look at children of unwed mothers as punishments to the mothers for being “slutty”. Oh, should the pregnant woman or girl seek an abortion their tune is shockingly different. From instant conception takes place it is a child, with rights and feelings, but the minute it’s born, it suddenly becomes a punishment, not a child, and it is not deserving of loving parents who are able to properly provide for it. People with this attitude make me sick.
But I do try to be open minded, and the more I thought about it, the more I could kind of see how the day care facility might have played a hand in helping the girls to make this foolish choice (naturally, a lack of self respect and an abundance of stupidity played the primary roles). I do not feel like it encourages children to get pregnant. Obviously, unless it is a very small school, more girls do not get pregnant on purpose than who do. But, by taking away some of the consequences of having a child young, you take away some of their reasons not to do it. If you couple that with making absolutely no effort to discourage pregnancy (not offering birth control in school, for example) you get a double whammy.
So what should this school do in an attempt to keep this sort of thing from happening again? I say keep the day care facility, because children deserve parents who can work and provide for them, but also, offer these children birth control. Say to them, “This is here to help you if you screw up, but we’d prefer if you didn’t screw up in the first place, so here’s something to prevent it from happening.” Discourage, but don’t exile those who make a mistake.
I think maybe every school in the country should consider something like that.
Of course, this does nothing to address the serious self respect issues these girls are facing, and their obvious lack of judgement, but I think I’ll tackle those subjects some other day.