May 18, 2024

Children as Young as 12 Having Abortions

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When it comes to sex, America is considered prudish compared to the rest of the world.  The rest of the world sees itself as liberated, without the moral boundaries that some in the States still cling to.

From England, we read this shocking piece of news:

More than 450 teenagers below the age of 14 terminated pregnancies between 2005 and 2008, including 23 girls aged 12, the statistics from the Department of Health disclosed. Over the same period, 52 teenagers terminated four or more pregnancies before they reached their 18th birthday, as the total number of “repeat terminations” hit record levels across England and Wales.  [Telegraph – Scandal of the girls as young as 12 having abortions every year]

I would argue that a society’s attitude toward teen sex has a direct correlation to teen pregnancy.  Now, most people will say they are against teen pregnancy—hence why this article is titled “scandal”.  We all agree that we do not want teen pregnancies, both for the health of the mother as well as the child.

The problem is that we’re inconsistent in that the society glorifies and encourages a sex saturated environment in which experimentation and random coupling are seen as great things.  Our movies and television shows glorify this culture, and rarely show couples dealing with sexually transmitted diseases1.

Society knows that sex leads to babies, but they also want the pleasure that’s involved with intimacy.  So they seek to justify their inability to practice self control with a panacea—they require sex education.  This is so that, instead of educating that sex outside of a monogamous relationship (read “marriage”) is wrong, they can feel good giving their children enough to make them dangerous.

It’s like giving a child a loaded gun, and saying, “Hey, here’s how you pull the trigger, and here’s the safety.  Now, this gun won’t do anything without the safety off, so don’t turn it off.  But feel free to go play with this gun with your friends.”  No parent would do this with their kids, but we’ll give them some birth control and let them go out and sleep around knowing that they’re “this close” to contracting an illness they’ll either have for the rest of their life or kill them.

Is that knowledge really that beneficial without the moral guidepost, or does it do more harm than good?

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  1. We’re shown people with these diseases, but always in the context of “they don’t stop me” in commercials advertising drugs that the infected will have to take for the rest of their lives. []

11 thoughts on “Children as Young as 12 Having Abortions

  1. Yes. Prickly issue, but most of it flows down to kids from parents and society. If the kids have it drummed into their heads that it’s wrong – horribly wrong to get pregnant and have to consider an abortion, then they’ll stay away from it. But when you start telling them about birth control, it sends mixed signals. It’s like – “don’t do it, but if you have to, then use birth control”. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  2. The last report I saw on this states that abortion rates were lower in secular Western Europe than in the U.S. and another report shows that abortion rates are almost twice as high in countries with strict anti-abortion laws such as in Latin America.

    It may be that the more unrestricted abortion is and the more prevalent and comprehensive sex education is, the fewer abortions there are. That’s what the data leads you to believe.

  3. While my parents are what you would call “good people”, they are not Christians and I was not raised in a home where morality was tied to religious beliefs. When my mother had “the talk” with me, there was no discussion of right or wrong when it came to sex outside of marriage. She spoke to me in facts. She told me that I was under no circumstances to have sex because when you have sex (or experiment sexually without having actual intercourse) you open yourself to the risk of disease. If you go as far to have intercourse, you could get pregnant. While she was firm with me in what I could and could not do under her roof, she was also quite clear that if I got myself into some kind of trouble, I was responsible for it myself. She let me know, again with no religious ties whatsoever, that abstaining from sexual activities was the only way to avoid these circumstances.

    I feel I was fully equipped with knowledge, but because I also received knowledge about consequences, I understood and believed that the best possible option for me was waiting until a monogamous married relationship. It had nothing to do with faith because I wasn’t a Christian at the time. I was just too scared of getting a disease or getting pregnant. I didn’t WANT those things and so I didn’t DO the things that could bring them on.

    We don’t give teens enough credit. We make excuses for them and their promiscuous behavior because we say they can’t control themselves and they are too young to make wise decision. That’s baloney. There is too much focus in sex education on the “befores” and not so much of the “afters”. And I’m only talking about the physical ramifications of sex outside of marriage. I haven’t even mentioned emotional and mental ramifications.

    Regardless of what the liberal agenda says, abstinence is the ONLY 100% foolproof way to prevent teenage pregnancy and disease. If you don’t do, it doesn’t happen to you. And the only victims are today’s youth who are being told it’s not only OK but glamorous to be sexual at younger and younger ages. Yes, we need education and knowledge – MORE OF IT! Educate the children in the truth of what they are really dealing with! Disease and (unwanted) children!!! Maybe if the media and the other agendas out there stopped trying to sexualize today’s youth while they are still preteens, kids wouldn’t have as hard a time “controlling themselves” (which we of course excuse them for because it’s “natural” and no one, not even 12 year olds, should have to exercise some self control over “natural” desires.

    When I was a teenager, I used to think about stealing candy bars when I’d go into the gas station. I thought about it a lot because I wanted it really bad but didn’t want to spend my little bit of money on it. But I didn’t take it. You know why? Because I knew if I stole the candy bar(s), despite how bad I wanted it, there would be repercussions – fines and possibly even jail. Why is it we can stress the consequences of other choices but not those of sexual choices, which in effect are the most damaging physically, emotionally, and mentally?

    We are falsely guiding the youth of today by telling them to have fun while we hand them a pack of condoms and encourage them to be safe. We should be telling them to keep their pants up so they protect themselves from the consequences of even “safe” actions!

    I know you have some liberal readers, and I tried to post this without referencing God or faith with regards to decisions about premarital sex because even if you take God out of the equation, it is COMMON SENSE.

    Wake up, people.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..One more week… =-.

  4. The problem Rachel, is that although sexual activity can result in disease or unwanted pregnancy (particularly if adequate precautions are not taken), it can also produce incredible pleasure. If contraception and condoms are used, the risks involved in this activity are reduced to acceptable levels. To ask young people to delay sexual pleasure until a marriage that could be a decade or more in the future is a lot to ask. Candy bars are nice, but orgasms are a lot nicer and parents and educators need to acknowledge that fact.

    If the objective is to reduce abortions and keep our children physically safe, then following the example of Western Europe and providing easy access to contraceptives and abortions and comprehensive sex education clearly provides the best solution. If the objective is to enforce the sexual mores of a patriarchal religious tradition, then the abstinence only approach is understandable.

    1. @Charles: The problem is that even your education is faulty. Most sexually transmitted diseases are spread by skin-to-skin contact, skin that isn’t covered by a condom. A small defect or a tear in a condom can transmit the HIV virus. So, you’re playing Russian Roulette with HIV, and possibly contracting a disease that you will have for the rest of your life to spread to more people. And then, to top it off, if you follow your advice then you’ll encourage more partners, more sexual practices, and the numbers grow astronomically with each new partner you, or the person you’re having your fun with, have had.

      Every vice has pleasure attached to it. Drugs have a high, as does stealing, etc. Should we apply the same logic, “kids are going to have fun doing drugs, so let’s tell them how to do it safely.” “Kids are going to have fun drinking, so let’s teach them how to do it safely.” “Kids are going to have fun stealing, so let’s teach them how to do it safely.” The logic is absurd.

      Self denial has many rewards. Choosing to save money to buy something is more rewarding than buying it on credit and then making the payments. Having a single sex partner after marriage provides more joy than having multiple, hollow relationships. Staying drug free, or free from the influence of alcohol means that you’re in control of your actions and someone that can be relied on.

      True, it’s not easy, but life’s not easy. Making it easier for people to choose the easy option doesn’t make us a better people, just a weaker one.

  5. @Min, you are playing Russian Roulette when you get into your car and drive because there are drunks out there who could hit you. There are over 30 deaths and injuries per 1000 people due to auto accidents and only 14 reported STD infections per 1000 people, and many of those can be easily treated.

    It is up to parents to bring up their children in such a way that they can assess for themselves the risks of various activities vs. the rewards of those activities and make intelligent mature decisions. It is the role of education to provide information about those activities, whether sex or drugs or whatever, and leave the value judgments alone. If the parents are lying to their children to get them to avoid risky behavior, then that’s their problem. If not, then the children will usually continue to practice the restraint and maturity they have learned from their parents.

    1. True, everything has inherent risk attached to it. However, getting in a car and traveling somewhere is in a different category than getting involved in a risky scenario for a short burst of pleasure.

      The key is in your figures. There are only 14 reported STD infections per 1000 people. How many are going unreported? How many don’t know they’ve contracted climedia (the silent STD that will only show itself after being tested or when the woman tries to get pregnant)? How many are regularly tested so they can be treated?

      The comparison falls flat. If I’m to have a job or go to the grocery store I have to drive a car. There is no reason that I have to have sex. The risk/reward scenario is tilted the wrong way– and we don’t even talk about the emotional or eventual marital problems that pre-marital sex can incur.

      It is not the role of the school to contradict the teaching of the parents. The children belong to the parents, not to the school. Therefore, if the parents are saying “refrain from sex” and the school is saying “you can have sex this way and be safe” the school and the parents are at odds. You cannot have a value-neutral discussion about sex because of its nature. Just like you cannot have a value neutral discussion about drugs– hence why schools have “just say no” campaigns.

      I sat in public health class. When it came to drugs, the teacher showed colors, burnt something that smelled like weed, and talked about how drugs were wrong. When it came to sex, it was jokes, showing how to use contraceptives, and talking about how to do it safely. Two entirely different presentations and two entirely different moral standings.

  6. Hey Min Decided to “stop by”. I haven’t frequented the blogs lately, busy with a big move.

    Anyways this is a great post. There are lots of things wrong with 12 year olds getting abortions (or even getting pregnant in the first place). In centuries past, many 12 yr olds didn’t even have the ability to get pregnant in the first place because of the fact that their bodies weren’t able to conceive. Now, due to hormones, preservatives, and rising obesity, girls are getting the ability to conceive at much younger ages.

    A 12 year old’s body is not really designed for childbirth so these young girls are far more likely to have high risk pregnancies that could threaten their lives and health as well as the life and health of their child. Most of them probably aren’t likely to find out about their pregnancy until far later so they may engage in behavior that could hurt the health of their baby.

    It’s sad that we are even talking about pregnancy in children at this young an age. Where have we come as a society where this issue is even one we have to deal with? Why, why, why are 12 year olds even having sex? I’m guessing most are being pressured by older guys that sell them all sorts of lies. Either that or they do it because they want to fit in or be accepted.

    Unfortunately I believe this mainly leads back to one thing, the demise of the family and the demise of God’s plans. Usually situations like this happen in families where there is strong discord (mother or father not present, issues of past abuse), and it speaks to how the demise of the family has led to this, I believe. Also, God’s plan was never for girls this young to be able to conceive at such a large rate. There has also been research suggesting that girls who do not have a father present tend to enter puberty earlier on average than girls with a father-figure in their lives.

    There’s much to blame for this epidemic.

  7. I have to take issue with you on one point at least – “It is not the role of the school to contradict the teaching of the parents.” The role of the school is to educate – to expose children to facts and teach them how to distinguish between fact and fiction. If their parents are handing them a pack of lies intended to discourage them from engaging in behavior the parents find offensive, then I would hope the school contradicts them.

    I hear you about the drug vs sex education anecdote. The teacher wasn’t really providing any information about drugs, probably because the objective was to keep kids from using drugs rather than educating them. The drug class should have been more like the sex class, not vice versa.

    P.S. militarywifey. By normal religious logic, if it were not God’s will for 12 year old girls to be able to conceive, then wouldn’t God have delayed puberty until some age more appropriate to Christian morality, say 21? There have always been sexual pressures on underage girls and in many cultures and eras 12 year old girls are married, often to older men. Yes there has been a breakdown of family unity in modern American society, but statistically it is more prevalent in conservative Christian regions than in liberal areas. It does not appear that a belief in God has much positive effect on the incidence of divorce or of teen pregnancy.

    1. I’m not sure that we agree on what the role of the parent and school is. A child is the parent’s responsibility. The school exists to compliment or perform the role of educator in the place of the parent. The parent is the authority on the matter. Therefore it is the function of the school to teach what the parents need their children taught as part of a functional society, and also the parent’s right to decide the school that the child attends (or homeschooling).

      I spoke nothing of parents lying to their children, I spoke specifically of parents instructing their children that sex outside of marriage is wrong– a moral value– rather than teaching moral ambivalence or even acceptance. This is not about facts, but about the moral framework of this question.

      I disagree. Not only was the story not an anecdote– I was a first person eyewitness in the class– but the different kinds of drugs and their effects were discussed. However, they were in a moral tone consistent with parental desire, societal norms, etc. And this is exactly the way that it should be. “Just say no” is appropriate for these kinds of things.

      The problem that you seem to miss whether it is this conversation or an atheism one is that everything (well, perhaps not mathematics) is taught with a particular worldview. In English we read essays on teen alcoholics to attempt to convince us not to drink. In history we study various governments and policies of governments with the worldview of the teacher. In science we’re subject to (if we’re in public education) hearing about how the world is many orders of magnitude older than it really is. We’re fed a steady diet of a particular worldview irregardless of the facts.

      And that’s why I draw the line on this topic of sex– there is no reason that the school should contradict the teaching of the parents. And parents that care should remove their children from the teaching or from the school system.

      As for God– who says that our society’s current concept of adulthood was His intention? If you studied the Bible, you would see that a boy aged 12 was considered a man and that it could be possible that Mary the mother of Jesus could have been in her teens. It is a society that has said that children cannot work, and have artificially delayed childhood far past the time it traditionally was that has made this problem.

  8. I do not feel that it is as much the girls fault. I belive that if the girl not preform as expected she may be in fear of getting hurt. The parents need to know the boy before the date. Girls bring it on alot by the way they dress and act. and the boy needs to be tought to cotrol his whormones The girl is out there with her date and who is going to stop him fron doing as he pleases with her. A boy is still a boy of he dose not have the self control to keep his zipper up.A man kmowes that he will have to andser before God one day Where did we go wrong in this country ? She in advertising, movies you name it. Even in the music that we used to and still listen to. Like that phone co. uneing a young girl to sing a song where she is asking her boy friend what you whant baby I got it”. Years ago we used to have a song saying I want to kiss you all over, then they came out with a remake called I want to lick you all over.
    Parents, you have to learn how to train up a child in the proer and right wat to behave and to take responsability for what they do Yes young ladies you have a choice, but it is before you open your legs.

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