Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be very difficult and scary for a teenager, and deciding what to do will be even more difficult. No matter what her political persuasion, it’s always a very intimate personal decision that no teenager makes without some degree of emotional trauma. All options: aborting, or raising the baby, or allowing someone else to adopt the baby carries emotional pain and personal sacrifice.
In the United States, ‘teenager’ abortion accounts for 19% of all procedures of this nature. The average age of those receiving abortions is falling from 19 to 17 years. More than 50% of abortions performed annually are on women under the age of 25, with ages 18 and 19 representing the highest number performed.
Currently, there are twenty-one states that require parental permission for adolescent abortion and eighteen states that do not. There are also fourteen states that require parental notification before performing an abortion on a minor. The notification law requires that the parents be notified, but the permission of a parent is not necessary to proceed with the procedure.
Right now in the United States abortions are legal. Data on teen abortion reveals that although the teen pregnancy rate has decreased in the United States over the last ten years, the percentages have actually increased.
Teenage girls are at increased risk of post-abortion infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and endometritis (inflammation of the uterus), which can be caused by the spread of an undiagnosed sexually transmitted disease to the uterus during abortion , or by microorganisms on surgical instruments that are inserted into the uterus.
Adolescent women who abort are 2 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide than adult women who abort, and a history of abortion is likely to be associated with adolescent suicidal thoughts.
Adolescents who abort are more likely to develop psychological problems and nearly three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than adolescents in general.
Teenagers are at risk of further injury or death because they are unlikely to report any physical complications to their parents.
The most common reasons a teen chooses abortion are:
I can’t afford a baby
You don’t want anyone to know that you’ve had sex or that you’re pregnant.
He doesn’t want to be a single father.
Your partner or parent wants you to have an abortion
He is not ready to become a father
She is too immature to have a child.
She was a survivor of rape or incest.
She or the fetus has a health problem.
Medical Reasons for Partial Birth Abortions: Medical conditions and indications may develop after the first trimester (12 weeks) of pregnancy that could endanger the life and/or health of the mother. Late-onset medical conditions may include:
Severe or uncontrollable diabetes
severe kidney disease
Uncontrollable hypertension (high blood pressure)
Some of the consequences of ‘forced pregnancy’ or ‘forced motherhood’ (ie unwanted children) are as follows. The boy:
have more emotional handicaps
· is doing worse academically; is a poor performance
are twice as likely to have a juvenile delinquency record
you are 4 times more likely to have a criminal record as an adult
are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
are 6 times more likely to receive social assistance between the ages of 16 and 21
have worse relationships with parents
have a higher risk of being abused or neglected by parents
Some of the disadvantages of going through an abortion are:
creates feelings of regret and grievance
it does not give the child in the womb a chance at life, which is why many religions look down on it
having an abortion always lowers your chances of having children later in life
· adolescents who have repeatedly participated in abortions report feeling cheated by those who sell abortions and worry about ‘God’s judgment and punishment’
the “would-be mother” will always wonder “what if” and may feel some level of guilt for the rest of her life for the child she could have had
adoption vs. abortion
You generally feel positive about your choice.
You can have continuous contact with your baby
You’ll have plenty of time to plan for your future and your baby’s.
You will remember to give birth
Your pregnancy ends with giving life
· Abortion is final; you can’t go back on your decision
You may feel guilt and shame about your choice.
You will miss the opportunity to see your child develop
You’ll remember taking a life
Her pregnancy ends with death.
Adolescent girls are more likely to make a snap judgment and try to cover up their pregnancy from their parents by having an abortion. Adolescents are also more likely to report wanting to keep the baby, higher levels of feeling misinformed in pre-abortion counseling, less satisfaction with abortion services, and higher post-abortion stress. Teenagers were also more likely to use immature coping strategies — such as projecting their problems onto others, denial or “acting out” — than older women, strategies the researchers speculate could become permanent.
Despite the fact that supporters without parental consent continually leave the component of spiritual devastation out of discussions, the facts of teen abortion tell us that teens who have repeatedly participated in abortions feel cheated by those who sell abortions and worry about God’s judgment and punishment.
Teen abortion is an especially difficult thing to deal with, especially when you may have to confront your parents and hope that your partner will support you.
Teens are encouraged to involve their parents in their abortion decision, and most have one parent involved. In most of these states, if you can’t talk to your parents, or choose not to, you can go before a judge. The judge will consider whether she is mature enough to decide for herself. Otherwise, the judge will decide if abortion is in the best interest of the teenager. In any case, if there are complications during the procedure, the parents of minors may be notified.
Before a teen makes decisions hastily, or as an attempt to undo a mistake, teens and parents on both sides of the parental consent debate need to know the facts about teen abortion and find out as much as possible about abortion and complications of the post-abortion procedure.
If you are a pregnant teen, keeping your perspective right now is critical. The most important thing to remember is that you have a choice. There are three main paths: parenting, abortion, or adoption.