Sometimes when young teenagers get pregnant, the question is asked whether they’re too young to have a baby, because it’s thought that their young age is reason enough to have an abortion. There’s a perception that it’s dangerous for young teens to give birth. Did you know that having an abortion is almost four times deadlier than childbirth? Abortion is not safer than giving birth to your baby.
Teenagers who have abortions have higher rates of –
- Clinical depression
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal behavior
- Psychiatric problems
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress and
- Sleep disorders
On the other side of the coin, having a full-term pregnancy has some important physical benefits:
- A decrease in breast cancer risk – the earlier the pregnancy the better, in terms of lessening breast cancer risk.
- Childbirth is the most important known factor in preventing ovarian cancer.
- Childbirth also lowers a woman’s risk of –
- Reproductive problems, and
- Pregnancy complications in the future.
The truth is that abortion is much more deadly than childbirth. Don’t let people scare you into having an abortion by telling you that childbirth is more dangerous for you.
Does all of this mean that it’s an ideal event for a young teenager to get pregnant? No. We know there are many problems that teen moms and dads have to work through. Your teenage years were meant to be a time to gradually end your childhood and enter the adult world with all of its responsibilities. These teen years were meant to be a time when the focus should be on you. Having a baby means you have to share that focus.
Many people who ask, “Am I too young to have a baby?” really mean to ask, “Am I too young to parent a baby?” The answer for most teenagers and women in their early twenties is that it is possible for them to parent a baby if they have help. Help can come from sources like these:
- The baby’s father,
- His parents and your parents,
- Brothers and sisters,
- Aunts and uncles,
- Cousins and grandparents,
- Friends and classmates,
- School counselors,
- School daycare,
- Employers and co-workers,
- Pastors and church members,
- Agencies, and
- Volunteers from Pregnancy Helplines and Centers.
Remember – your baby will continue to grow and get older each year – and so will you! You won’t always be a teen-aged mom, your child won’t always be a helpless baby, and you won’t always need as much help as you will at first.
If you don’t have a strong support network, you might want to begin to consider another option: Getting full-time help from someone else to parent your child – someone whom you’d learn about, get to know, and choose yourself. You can make a parenting plan for your child so that your child will have everything he or she needs for her entire childhood, and still maintain contact with you! Please click on the questions on this website that ask about adoption.