We all had friends in high school who "got in to trouble." The ones that were whispered about, given funny looks, and wearing baggy clothes because they'd gain a little suspicious weight. Rumors were spread and the "Is she? Isn't she?" debate began. Remarks were made about "How could a girl in this day and age wind up pregnant?" "How stupid could someone be to get themselves knocked up?"
Maybe teenage pregnancies aren't as scandalous where you're from but in my small hometown getting pregnant out of wedlock is a huge deal. Everyone knows, everyone talks, and everyone speculates about new mother's antics. I'm guilty of it. Hell my high school classmates and I are in our mid 20's and just yesterday I was texting my best friend about another friend who has found herself unexpectedly with child.
But what does this mentality say to others? What does telling young women to "be smart" imply when these "smart" tactics fail? What is a young girl supposed to think of herself when she's been told all her life to " be smart and use protection" and still winds up pregnant?
She'll feel stupid. She'll feel like she failed herself, her partner, her family. She was promised a safety net and it failed her. She was the unfortunate 0.3%.
How could this "be smart" mentality have any positive impact on abortion? It can't. It screams at women that they are failures for ending up pregnant. That they did something wrong and their only possible option now is to get rid of the evidence of their failure. When we blame and shame women for believing the lie they were fed we practically push them into an abortionist's office. As Ronald Reagan's adopted son said "We have to make sure our children are more afraid of the abortionist than they are of us."
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