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Courage’s Article: A Pregnant Teen

Article #14 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project
A Teen Girl Who Became Pregnant Out of Curiosity

By Adjei Courage, Age 18


Who is to blame for teen girls getting pregnant?

When the disobedient girl who stayed with my mother became pregnant, I pondered this question a great deal.

One early Tuesday morning, my mother woke up only to realize that her sister’s daughter was still in a strange mood. As an experienced mother, my mom accused the girl of being pregnant. Upon interrogation, the girl confessed to not having experienced her menstruation the previous month.

She was a girl of fifteen years of age and was getting ready to move to her sixth academic year. Unfortunately, her hope of moving to the next stage was ruined after she slept with a boy without considering the seed that was being buried in her womb.

It was really awful in the house that very day we realized the truth! My mom became furious at the girl for getting pregnant without taking into account the physiological and economic needs of a baby.

The following months proved to everyone that the girl was indeed carrying new life in her womb. It was strange to note that this girl was not ashamed of bringing disgrace to her family, but rather proclaimed courageously, “I will be giving birth to a child, not an animal!”

Scandalously, the boy responsible for the young girl’s pregnancy did not turn up to accept his responsibility. This made my mother even more angry and disappointed at the choices the girl had made.

Dear readers, it was painful for this girl during labour! In fact, she was not able to deliver her baby naturally. This was a result of the fact that her birth canal was not mature enough to create a pathway for the baby to pass through. Since she was not able to deliver naturally, the doctors were compelled to operate on her before removing the baby.

Although the girl and the baby are both still alive today, the problematic birth hurt the girl’s body forever. Even now, she still cannot carry heavy loads, and in fact she could not even hold her own baby for the first two months of its life.

You may be saddened to learn that due to her heavy new responsibilities, the girl could not return to school again.

Therefore, my readers, be on the safe side, and encourage teens to be extremely careful with sex. Irresponsible sexual behavior can lead not only to unwanted pregnancy, but also to sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, teenage pregnancy increases extreme poverty, as well as inequality between men and women.

I am known as Courage, and I am part of the YCC Cross-Culture group that attends classes for two hours each Saturday afternoon and one hour each Monday evening to help turn us into community development leaders and to prepare us for a three-week educational exchange in the United Kingdom! I hope my story has been both interesting and educational for you. It is just the start of many more educational campaigns I hope to undertake!

Lillie’s Note: This is such an important topic. Please do leave Courage a comment, stating your geographical location! For my earlier article on reproductive education in Boston and Thailand, click here!

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arielle

Friday 16th of November 2012

Courage, thank you so much for sharing your story! So inspiring what you are doing to help your community and in spreading this story and message.

Arielle (currently in Singapore, from Washington, DC, USA)

Oriana Hairston

Monday 27th of February 2012

That is sad,but I feel like it was her fault for not being more careful. Furthermore she shouldn't be having sex at a young age.

Deborah Hiwot

Saturday 22nd of January 2011

This article has taught alot of young girls that pregnancy isn't the answer to anything. I've always learned from my parents that education is the key to success, and you shouldn't let anything stop you from that. At young ages all girls shouldn't have boyfriends until they graduate highschool, go to college, graduate college, get a job. Then if they meet the person they should date him then eventually if their the right person they will marry them. That way they will be responsible and financially backed up parents. As of now everyone should focus on school cause having a boyfriend or girlfriend at a young age will lead you to the wrong direction. To all the girls out there, guys may act like they love you now but at the end their only using you for something that you'll regret for the rest of your life. Just like Adjei's cousin has regreted being a mom at 15.

Drew

Monday 19th of July 2010

Unfortunately, this issue is a worldwide issue.

A previous poster mentioned the MTV show, "16 and Pregnant." Count me as one of those people that thinks this show glorifies a tragic issue. I think there are better ways to make people aware of this issue. The girl in this show has too much to worry about than to be exploited (in my opinion) by the media.

As for the fathers that run away from their responsibility, they are every bit as responsible for that pregnancy and human life as the mother-to-be. A real man accepts responsibility for his actions, regardless of what that involves.

Courage, I hope & pray that your cousin can rise above and continue her education eventually. It is never too late. I also applaud you for learning the lessons of responsible sex. Your time will come.

Imported Blogger Comments

Thursday 27th of May 2010

karaoke.mike said... Hi Courage, Thank you for the emotionally moving and well-told account about the difficulties of teenage pregnancy. I think any young person who was thinking about experimenting with physical relationships, will think harder about their situation after reading this article. Especially the points about how she had to go through surgery for the pregnancy, was abandoned by the father, and had to drop out of school. Great article. Thank you for writing it!

- Mike from Japan (born in Canada, but living in Japan)

March 2, 2010 4:58 PM

Melody said... Dear Courage, thank you for this well-written and thoughtful article. I live in Washington, DC, and as I was driving to work today I heard a radio program about the rising rate of teen pregnancy among girls ages 15-19 in Washington DC, and then just saw your article too!

Unfortunately this issue is a big problem in the US as well.The numbers of teenage mothers in Washington DC have increased quite a lot since 2007, when they were declining. There is a popular program on TV here (the channel is MTV) called "16 and Pregnant" that shows the lives of teen moms in a documentary style. It shows how hard the life of a teen mom can be, but the show has been criticized because it also makes "stars" out of the young mothers the show features - they go on to be featured in magazines, on other TV shows, and basically become famous...some argue that shows like this merely glamorize the life of a teen mother and can make other teens feel that being pregnant can lead to fame or at least greater recognition.

These reports and shows cite several reasons for teen pregnancy: a girl may have a tough family life leading her to want a baby to "love her unconditionally", girls can have a fascination with the "cuteness" of a new baby, and how fun it is to dress it up, without a recognition of how hard it really is to take care of a child, and ignorance of contraception methods to prevent pregnancy. Articles like yours, school programs, and family support can all help to combat teen pregnancy - by promoting knowledge to keep it from happening, and by changing the culture to support teen moms rather than shaming them, because they need all the help they can get, as you recognize!

You can listen to the radio report on National Public Radio here: http://wamu.org/news/10/03/02.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WAMU885LocalNewsPodcast+%28WAMU%3A+Local+News+Podcast%29#32560

Keep up the great writing and best of luck on your exchange program in the UK!

Melody

March 2, 2010 5:09 PM

Hollee said... Courage, Thanks so much for writing this important article. It is important to get this message out to young girls and boys in addition to the adults who support them. By opening up a dialogue such as this, we will all go a long way in decreasing teenage pregnancy and unwanted births in general. I live in Boston with my 9 year old daughter who's body is beginning to change. I speak frankly with her about the difficult decisions that she will have to make in her teenage years and the powerful pull of curiosity, peer pressure and the like. Thank you again for working on and publishing such an important article. -Hollee

March 3, 2010 1:13 PM

Alexander Nechanitzky said... Hi Courage. You show, that you have considered all the aspects of the issue to be a teenage mother and the connected problems, but without missing the girl's feelings. Sex is not a bad thing, but being mother is a hard job with so much responsibility.

This was one of the best student's stories we got in this round.

March 3, 2010 10:06 PM

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