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View Diary: "Just because we can, should we?" - The Ethics of Pregnancy (38 comments)

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  •  Here's a good pregnancy ethics one. (0+ / 0-)

    Lately I've been in contact with a 16 year old umarried mother of a baby who is, just guessing, 18 months old. That means she was 14 when she got pregnant.

    She is not good at mothering. She ignores the baby if she is occupied with something else. She lets him toddle around, unsupervised, getting into anything and everything he is curious about. He gets on tables. He crawls up steps. She handles him roughly and speaks to him as though he could understand her. There is almost none of the usual cooing baby-talk you usually see with parents. She smacks his bottom when he "misbehaves." She has unrealistic expectations of the baby's understanding, and of his ability to sit still and be quiet. In other words, she has no business parenting that baby at all.

    And I'm pissed. I want to know what her parents were doing. Did they talk to her at all about sex and birth control? How, at fourteen, was she so unsupervised and allowed to go out alone on dates, or be alone with this boyfriend? Why did she think so badly about herself that she engaged in such risk-taking? Why did she bring that baby to term? Why didn't she put it up for adoption? What advice was she given? Was it from some celibate male priest?

    This baby is already messed up. If he doesn't have an attachment disorder yet, he's going to get one. The emotional neglect is going to take its toll, and every teacher and classmate will have to deal with this hurting kid.

    I don't know any details beyond what I've told you. I don't know her religion, I don't know if she had consenual sex or if someone raped her or manipulated her. All I know is what I've seen: a kid, barely a teenager, still growing into her own body and self, doing a lousy job mothering a baby.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 05:06:01 PM PST

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