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View Diary: Everything You Need to Know About Teen Pregnancy (16 comments)

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  •  I got pregnant when I had sex for the first and (2+ / 0-)
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    JanetT in MD, Cassandra Waites

    only time when I was 17.  There was no such thing as abortion for lower middle class people like me--we didn't know where to find an abortionist, and even if we had, we couldn't have paid for an illegal operation.

    My father was able to borrow the money for the maternity home from his brother, who was slightly better off.  I also had a little "job" at the home--scrubbing toilets--so was able to reduce the amount my parents paid per week.  I was there six months.

    In those days, most girls didn't "keep."  We were told to relinquish our children for adoption to "nice people," who were married.  I caused a sensation by leaving the home WITH my daughter--but that's because my mother, unable to bear the thought of her grandchild being adopted by people who would forever remain unknown--asked my uncle and his wife to take the baby.  They did so gladly.  They had long wanted to adopt a child but were unable to do so because he was in the Army and it was thought moving from post to post was very bad for a child.

    Anyway, even if I'd been able to keep the child (which my mother actually wanted to do), I had zero skills and zero money.  Nor did anyone in the unenlightened days of 1962 want to rent to a slut who had a bastard child.  Yes, that's the language and the attitude that prevailed in those days.

    For the next 40 years I felt set apart from the rest of society by my enormous "sin."  I finally got over it with the help of my new religion (Wicca).  I even reached the point where I could tell my friends about it.  I'll never forget the first time I did that.  They still liked me and still wanted to be my friends!  It was so liberating.  

    I'm glad teen motherhood had a happy ending for you, kvetchingyenta, and thank you for sharing your story. Your happy ending would have been highly unlikely in 1962, though.  Things started to change in 1968, when actresses started getting pregnant outside marriage and defiantly decided to keep their children and bring them up. And after the Roe v. Wade decision, the schtik changed from "You're a little bastard and your mother is a whore" to "If you're here, you're legitimate."

    I'm glad it changed. I hope to Goddess that neither of my granddaughters, neither the 19-year-old college junior nor the four-year-old in the far future, will become pregnant as a teen.  I'll do everything in my power to prevent that from happening in the case of the latter, if I have to take her to the gyn for her oral contraceptives myself.  

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:12:26 PM PDT

    •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

      ..for telling your story. xoxo
      You may be interested in reading Ann Fessler's book. It is very emotional but sheds a huge light on the social and political factors that frame the unwed/teenage pregnancy debate. My mother has often talked about "the girls who disappeared to their aunt's house for a few months" and how common that was. I am sure I would have been one of them.

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