Monday, October 1, 2012

Disturbing Story Reminds What CAN Go Wrong

This story really upset me, and it may stay with some of you for a while.  But the story of this girl reminds us just what is at stake, and who will pay the price for decisions made by government regarding women's healthcare.

A 14-year-old Florida girl is facing murder charges after police said she admitted to strangling her newborn son and stuffing his body in a shoe box.
The girl gave birth to a gave birth to a 9.5-pound baby boy in the bathroom at her Lakeland, Fla., home on Sept. 19, police said.
The teen, who is 5-foot-3 and weighs 100 pounds, had been wearing baggy clothing to conceal her pregnancy from her family, police said.
When she realized she was giving birth, the girl turned on the bathroom faucet, police said she told them, and placed a towel in her mouth to mute her cries of pain as she delivered the baby.
As the agony of labor increased, police said the girl used scissors to pry the baby into the toilet.
She "lifted the moving infant from the toilet, felt for a pulse, found one, then placed her hands on the infant's neck and squeezed until he wasn't moving or breathing any longer," the Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Friday.
Please understand, I'm not defending this girl.  I'm simply saying that if we take steps backwards in women's health education and medical rights there will be more like her.  Women and girls who may not have become pregnant if they had access to knowledge and services will be be under incredible pressure, pressure that will crack some of them and lead to tragedies like this.

This was preventable, from beginning to end.  As sad and painful as this was to read, the message is too important to ignore.  We need to teach responsibility and educate kids about sex.  The whole moral debate only leaves girls feeling getting pregnant is for "the other girls" and not them.  That's the whole point of a message we've pushed for decades now: sperm and eggs do their thing regardless of whether you want to become pregnant or not.  I don't know if this girl would have behaved differently if she had known all of her options (for all I know, she did).  I'm just saying the more girls know, the more we can  to trust they will make better choices.  At least we're giving them the tools, the rest is up to them.

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