I want to thank HelloBeautiful.com for sharing this picture of a group of teen moms proudly sporting their baby bumps on Facebook. Apparently, a baby in your belly has become the ultimate accessory, instantly turning you into the most fashionable girl at your school. I can hear the collective gasps and head shaking coming from anyone who gets to experience the “thrill” of seeing these children expressing their excitement over having babies who could easily be their younger siblings. There is a big part me that agrees with you.
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But to put it into perspective, I thought about the fact that my own mom was a teen mother, giving birth to me at the age of 17. Mother Nature is a powerful force, and scientists say that a woman’s most fertile years are between the ages of 15 and 27. So, that means that even when we tell young people not to desire sex, all of us are strongly wired to do “the nasty.” Finally, I’m admittedly not a big fan of abortion (at least not as a tool of simple reproductive convenience – at least I’m glad my mother decided not to abort me), so I am trying to find ways to make this picture OK in my mind.
But let’s be clear: THIS PICTURE IS DISTURBING.
So, to make the picture OK (at least in my own psyche), I’ve artificially constructed a few facts about these young women that I hope are true about the little bundles of joy they are so proudly sporting underneath their naked belly buttons. If any or all of these facts are true, then I might be able to take the snarl off my face:
1) (I hope that) All of these women are fully equipped to provide for their kids without depending on help from the state or living off of relatives until they are deep in their twenties: I know two young women who each had four babies, in four years, with six different daddies, with nearly all of the fathers being uneducated, unemployed and having criminal records. They live with their mothers, with no plans on getting out (in too many cases, grandmas are first in line to volunteer to be surrogate parents). It only took three years for their kids to start asking why they don’t have a daddy. I really hate saying this, but statistics predict that children in these circumstances don’t have much of a future (there are exceptions, of course, but the exception is not the same as the rule). It’s hard to argue that you love your children when you bring them into these kinds of circumstances. It actually says that your selfish desire to create the ultimate accessory overrides any concern you have for your offspring.
2) (I hope that) None of these young women has been impacted by the out-of-control rates of HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, HPV, Herpes and Hepatitis that are plaguing the black community due to there being so much unprotected sex: Odds say that if you have unprotected sex with at least a couple of people who also “get around,” you are surely going to be infected with something. Also, quite a few infected people never go to the doctor and only find out about their infections after they have festered and begun to kill them (this is usually after the person has infected quite a few others along the way). Unfortunately, with the way things are going, a lot of young parents will be dead before their children reach the third grade.