She had many plans for the future: to go to college, start a career, meet the man of her dreams, raise a family -- when the time was right. It was all cut off by an unexpected pregnancy. The baby became her life, consuming her energy and forcing her dreams to the back burner of her life. She is 19 or younger and Latina, and has had her first baby.I wonder whether, socially, Western countries have set up a double standard. Legally we consider the young women involved to have the right to get pregnant and have a child (they are over the age of consent), but then very often we deride and scorn them if they do. "They've thrown away their future, college, a chance of a good career", we lament. We don't seem to think for a moment "Hang on, if this country has decided that is an acceptable age to engage in sex and fall pregnant, then logically we should ensure that social structures such as college do not excessively disadvantage people with children". If college is so discriminatory and unsupportive that having a child "cuts off" a mother's chances of going to college and having a career, why don't we fix it so it doesn't?
As it stands, there is a massive social pressure for young mothers to have a termination. Effectively, we're pushing the message that children are a blight, a curse, and something young mothers should not be having (though we consider it a sign of healthy normality if they engage in the activity that creates them). Twenty years later, when the same mother is struggling to conceive through IVF in her late thirties, as she's now in a financially better situation to take a career break, of course we moan "why didn't you have your children earlier?"
In short we seem to have a duplicitous social model at the moment where we polish our liberal halos proclaiming "We don't try to push religious morals onto secular young women. (But if they don't fit our social norms of what they do and at what age, boy are we going to disadvantage them for it.)"