Lately my newsfeed has been packed with articles, videos, and pictures all trying to sway me to one “side” or another. This happens with so many topics but lately , with laws passed in Texas, Virginia and countless other places, the abortion debate has really heated up. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to read this last article. If you can believe it, it actually didn’t attempt to pull me to one side or the other and yet it was still so moving.
It’s a little long so I’ll give you a sneak peek: The author was pregnant at 17 years old and she chose to have an abortion. She hid this decision from her parents, which forced her to stand in front of a judge to get permission, skip her prom in order to spend the money on the procedure, and get a ride to another state for access. She didn’t go to her parents about any of this, but they discovered all of it when they read her diary, (GASP! I know! )The story talks about the strain this once well kept secret put on the family, but now 8 years later daughter and parents are finally sitting down to have a real conversation about it.
As a teen it would be hard to not identify with the daughter keeping such a secret from her parents out of fear of causing disappointment. But something that became so clear to me reading this story is that teens shouldn’t have to feel that way. This girl’s parents talked about how they may not have agreed with their daughter’s decision, but they feel enormous guilt that she went through such a difficult time by herself. This really struck me because as teens, when it comes down to it, our parents only truly want what’s best for us. They may not be a fan of a particular decision you are making, but if you are dealing with some tough stuff you might want to reconsider them as an avenue of support. Hey you never know until you actually give it a try, right?!
Now I know that may not be realistic for everyone, not all teens have the same parents. But that is why this article is such a great read! It brings up issues like access- this woman had to jump through so many hurdles to get access. Not all women are as fortunate to be able to scrape together the money and find someone willing to drive them. It totally made me realize how important it is as a California teento make sure you know your rights when it comes to all types of sexual health care (such as STD testing, birth control, and even mental health care) . It’s the only way to get quick and easy access to all types of care that is available should you need it. And just because you feel like you can’t talk to your parents about a sexual health issue, doesn’t mean you should be afraid of all adults; there are tons of people out there who want to help you if you are going through a tough time. There is also a great bill in the works right now, SB 138, which would allow teens to use their parents’ health insurance without having your visit info revealed to them- confidentiality protection for teens!
And now for this week's links!
- Sex stories, myths, and info in one place
- Young and Positive (Poz)
- I got 20 condoms in my pocket- Thrift Shop parody
- Vote for your favorite condom design!
- 10 dating rules NOT to follow