Cindy on June 22, 2008 at 9:23 pm
**NOTE**: John and his family are out of town for a couple weeks. To fill his spot we have spared no expense and brought in a hired gun of the highest caliber, our friend Cindy. Well, OK. Cindy is not costing VS anything so she isn’t a hired gun. And that whole “highest caliber” thing… well, her son and my son are best friends, so I had to put that in to make her feel good about herself! Seriously, though, Cindy is one of the most kind, loving, thoughtful and sincere people of faith it has ever been our pleasure to know. We have no doubt that she will make a positive and lasting contribution to the blog. So without further delay, I give you Cindy!
“WHEN a 15-year-old girl at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts discovered she was pregnant earlier this year, she displayed no trace of fear or concern. Shown the results of her pregnancy test, she responded: “Sweet!” She then rushed off to tell her friends .”
So began a Times Online article about a group of teenage girls, some as young as 14 years old, that formed a so-called “pregnancy pact” together where approximately 18 girls, all under 17 years old, get pregnant together and plan to help raise each other’s kids.
“Sweet!” was her response? What on earth?! How does finding out that you are about to have a baby elicit the same response as, say, finding spare change under the cushions of your couch?
Of course since the story broke, the finger pointing has begun in every possible direction. Some in the town have begun a debate that possibly teaching sex education in schools might be to blame. Others are pointing to movies such as “Juno” and “Knocked Up” which romanticize unplanned pregnancies outside of marriage. A few are pointing the finger at the girls’ religious beliefs, in this predominantly Catholic area, (although this report just leaves me scratching my head). Even Brittney Spears and her younger sister Jamie Lynn, who just gave birth at age 16 herself, have been pointed to as culprits in this social ill.
Although these issues are indeed relevant, in my opinion, a much larger cancer continues to erode away at what once was good traditional family-values.
According to the CDC between 1980-1988 there were roughly 55 births per 1,000 young girls (ages 15-19). In 1989 the trend began to increase somewhat, peaking in 1992 to roughly 65 births per 1,000. Then began a dramatic downward trend, which resulted in about 24 births or less per 1,000 girls, over the course of the next decade.
However, in 2006 it spiked. The CDC noted a 3% jump then, and said it was the “largest single year increase in the number of births since 1989, and the largest number of births since 1961.”
Since 2006 teen-girls having babies has been on the increase.
As I read these statistics, I wondered where abortion fits into it. I would suspect that it fits neatly within the years when teenage births are low, as it has to be a mitigating factor.
So what about this recent up-trend of young girls having babies? Is it possibly because fewer young girls are having abortions? Although that would be a great step in the right direction, it would only be a beginning.
Or this recent trend because society has become so laissez faire about the entire topic, and what was once considerable unseemly, is now cool?
Whatever the reason, we need as a corporate people, to break this cycle and seriously impart the immeasurable value of life upon one another, and upon our own children.
If we are to take anything positive from this sad story would be the notion that these girls planned to “help each other raise their children”. We should all be aligning ourselves with one another, teaching our children to love, honor, and cherish life. We should be shoulder-to-shoulder with others in the raising of our young men and women, training them to be good mothers and good fathers, and instilling in them the desire to wait until they are old enough to take on such an intense responsibility within the covenant of marriage.
I am up for this challenge, and I look forward to the day when this trend is again low, but for all of the right reasons.
In the meantime, I will be pointing my own finger squarely at the Feminist Movement.