The problem of teenage pregnancy goes back to the beginning of time. After we end legal abortion in America we will always be faced with this challenge.
Aside from the baby’s welfare, the way a young girl responds to a teenage pregnancy can have life-or-death repercussions.
Meet two teens with unexpected pregnancies that resulted in two very different outcomes.
Danielle Yonemura could have been considered a poster child for abortion, but instead became a mother at the tender age of 14. Disregarding advice that a baby would ruin her life, Danielle rejected abortion and gave birth to a little girl named Leilani.
This young struggling mother graduated from high school in the top ten percent of her class. And just last month she received a degree in nursing from the University of Iowa. It wasn’t an easy road. At one time Danielle was homeless. Even so, she beat the odds and became a success story.
The naysayers were wrong on two counts. Not only did Danielle achieve her career goal as a teenage mother, but Leilani was the reason behind her success.
As Danielle embarked on her academic journey, she came to the realization that her baby’s future depended upon her making it in this world. Through thick and thin it was her daughter who spurred her on. She called Leilani “my light in the darkness.”
The choice Jessie-Maye Barlow made was starkly different from Danielle’s – and sadly, so was the outcome.
Not wanting to have given birth a second time by the age of 19, Jessie and her partner, Daniel chose abortion and she opted for the chemical abortion pill.
Jessie experienced one of the most common complications of chemical abortion – part of the baby and/or placenta was retained in her womb. In Jessie’s case she contracted streptococcus B.
Despite both surgery and medicines, Jessie wasn’t able to fight off the aggressive infection and she died just days before Christmas.
Abortion should never be a response to an unexpected pregnancy, even under the most stressful circumstances like motherhood at 14. In spite of others declaring Danielle’s pregnancy a ticket to failure, the opposite was true. Her baby was the motivation behind her success.
Danielle isn’t an exception. This has been the triumphant story of many women facing unexpected pregnancies.
Danielle will celebrate Christmas this year as a newly minted nurse with a bright future. Her extended family will bask in the glow of her success and dote on Danielle’s ten-year-old daughter.
In tragic contrast, Jessie’s partner Daniel, their first child, and the extended family will forever see Christmas as a heartbreaking reminder of a painful loss and what might have been.
Teenage pregnancies will always be with us, but when innocent human life is welcomed into the world through parenting or making an adoption plan, they will be experienced as a blessing, not a curse.
For babies and their mothers,