An unplanned pregnancy is difficult at any age, but the challenges faced by a pregnant teenager can be devastating. At a time in her life when she is experiencing new wonder and exploration, a glimpse into life’s full meaning and potential, she finds herself pregnant. Her future aspirations, hopes and dreams have been dealt an awful blow. Uncomfortable decisions arise that often challenge her moral core. Usually, there is little family or societal support for her child. Her future education is jeopardized. She may even face loss of parental support and homelessness.
She may be encouraged by some to carry the baby, and by others to abort the baby. Yet, if she carries the baby, she likely will have no means of delivering the baby safely, let alone the resources to provide adequate care to raise the child.
In reality, the adolescent faced with pregnancy has minimal resources available to help her choose life. Often, abortion becomes the default choice because the alternative path is more difficult to bear on her own. Yet even if a mother does not choose to abort her child, society today provides negligible support for her and her child. Many teens delay the ordinary and necessary pre-natal care every developing baby and pregnant adolescent requires. Nutrition is often less than adequate; pregnant teens tend to use tobacco products, experiment with drugs, get less rest and ingest alcohol in greater amounts than more mature mothers-to-be. Teen mothers face a greater risk of preeclampsia, high blood pressure and anemia than older mothers. All of these factors have a direct relation on the health of their unborn children, and in many cases results in loss of the child. Teen moms also have a more difficult time delivering their babies, due in part to their own still immature bodies, Caesarian deliveries bring their own cascade of possible complications.