This I Believe

vanessa - Redford, Michigan
Entered on October 5, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

The Power of Opportunity

“The test is pink!” I screamed within. How could it be pink? What am I going to do? I used the condom. How could I possibly be pregnant?

I remember talking about abstinence in sex ed class for about 5 minutes. Then we talked about the different diseases you could get and the methods of birth control to use.

I could have said no. That thought never crossed my mind. Who am I kidding? I wasn’t thinking at all.

I remembered my mother telling me not to have sex until I was married. But, what did she know? My friends were doing it. Why couldn’t I? It’s not like I would get pregnant!

I hear all the time that kids are going to do it anyway. They might as well be prepared. I wasn’t prepared for sex. Yes, I went to class. I paid attention. Yet, I didn’t even ask my partner if he had been tested. And I definitely wasn’t prepared to be a mother. How could I take care of someone else when I couldn’t even take care of myself? I hadn’t even graduated from high school. I didn’t have a job. How could I afford diapers?

I chose to have my baby. I also chose not to get married. Having the baby was not a hard decision for me. But if I would have gotten pregnant in 2006, I could have had an abortion without my parents even knowing! Or, I could have got the “morning after pill” and aborted my pregnancy in my own home. How convenient.

As a kid, I liked riding my bike, playing baseball, and dreaming of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I didn’t say, “I want to be a mother at 18!” I wanted to be a teacher.

I teach my kids about abstinence. When sex ed came up in my daughters school, I went to a curriculum meeting to find out what they would be teaching. Surely, they taught more about abstinence than they did 14 years ago. To my dismay, only 5% of the class is about abstinence. If the schools are not going to teach it, then I will. I don’t want my daughter to die from complications due to an abortion, or an infection afterwards, or from the side effects of birth control pills. She shouldn’t have to hide something from me. Couldn’t all these things can be avoided by not having sex.?

Why don’t the schools teach about abstinence? I believe if they spent less time talking about birth control and spent more time on abstinence our teenage pregnancy rate would go down and our kids would be able to experience life as kids. Preparing to be astronauts, teachers, and veterinarians. Not worrying about how they are going to raise a baby as a teenager.