I've struggled with this question. I was a teenager who became pregnant with both of my daughters who are now 15 and 13. I tossed this question out to them. The 13 year old just wanted to play Assassin’s Creed, but my 15 year old was another story.
At first she took a hard stance on pro-life. When I carefully explained to her that this had nothing to do with my decision to have her and her sister, she listened carefully. We discussed her future and how valuable finishing high school and college were. We talked about her dreams of art school and New York. I carefully pointed out the difference in discovering yourself on your own terms verses dropping out to take care of a child and the fickle minds of the children who raise children. We discussed adoption and how that can leave a scar of wonder on both the biological mother and child that she had given up. Decisions made in the present can come back later in life to be dealt with. The drudging up of emotions later in life can often be just as painful, if not more so, than when you originally made them. How do you carry a child for an entire pregnancy and then turn over that beautiful, kicking, screaming creature over to someone you don’t know?
She came to a rather adult decision for her young age. Although she admitted that she was young, maybe too young, to make such a decision, she still discussed her thoughts in a relatively adult manor. She wasn't me and she couldn't entertain the idea of what I went through – raising two young children at such a young age by myself – nor did she want to. Both girls are well-versed in sex and how it can change your life in seconds. Posing this question to her only made her delve deeper into her mind for answers that she hadn't had to consider before. A rape? The ripping of a condom? An irresponsible father? He may be a great companion to go to the movies with, but would she be willing to entrust him with the future and well-being of the life that she grew and nourished inside her?
After many different scenarios, she decided that life is too precious to gamble with, and she’s too young to gamble. Having never been pregnant, she could only assume, and what she was assuming was way over her head. She had decided one thing for sure – any child’s life that came into this world – she would be responsible for, regardless of who helped make it. Relying on anyone else is irresponsible. A child’s life should be planned. It should be celebrated. It should be welcomed by both parties who took part in making it. They should have a support system throughout the pregnancy, the birth, and the life of the child as it grows.
She’s a smart kid. Even now, I’m watching her eat dinner and I can see her wheelhouse turning. Although we may have stopped the discussion, she’s still thinking about it. I hope she never stops.