I would like to respond to the letter from M.J. Embree published in the Sept. 26 newspaper regarding teen mothers and the right to choose. I did not read the column from the Sept. 15 issue (to) which she is responding, but with the topic being discussed so much recently with the teen maze and the abortion pill, I feel I need to give testimony regarding this subject.
Ms. Embree states that the decision to continue or abort a pregnancy should be left up to the teenaged mother who "is the only person who will be affected for the rest of her life" by this decision. I wonder if the child, child's father, grandparents and family would agree with her.
I also ask if Ms. Embree really feels that a pregnant teen is capable of making a wise decision in this case. Given the fact that the teenager is pregnant to start with is enough evidence, I believe, to show that she would not. Ms. Embree suggests that leaving the job of rearing a child up to the teenaged mother who has "absolutely no training" would not be ideal, so why would you leave a decision regarding life itself up to the same teen?
I can say this because I gave birth to my son, Andy, at the age of 16. At the time of my pregnancy, I can honestly say, looking back now, that in no way did I know what I wanted in life or how my actions and decisions would affect others, let alone myself. I do remember, however, wishing desperately that I could get out of the situation I was in because of how it would make me look; however, abortion was not an option.
It was not an option for two reasons:
1. I was raised in a Christian family and was taught that life was a gift from God and He is the creator of all, regardless of the situation surrounding the conception;
2. Deep down in my heart I knew it was desperately wrong.
However, had my life been different, I might have chosen the easy out because at 15, like most teens, my life revolved around how everything affected me, not how I affected others.
Now I am 28 years old, married to a wonderful man and have two children whom I love more that life itself. At 15, I did not know where I was headed or what God had in store for me or my baby, I was simply too immature and inexperienced in life to see the big picture. Now, every day I look at my son, who is 12 years old, and feel so much love and pride for him, and I am so glad that my family helped me to make the right decision. I also realize that had I chosen to give him up for adoption, although I would have been the one missing out, he no doubt would have been a wonderful son regardless of the circumstances surrounding his birth, and to have aborted him would have robbed him, our family, his friends and the community of a simply wonderful person.
As for Ms. Embree's story of the family member who left an unwanted child in foster care at the age of 3, I agree it is a terrible thing for a child to live with.
What I believe is sadder yet, is that in the following three years no family member stepped up to love that child. Perhaps the child would have been better off being adopted from birth. However, to end the pregnancy would have robbed that child from completing the plan God has for his or her life and that, I believe, would be the most tragic ending.
The decision to continue or abort a pregnancy should be made by the mother and father, family members and counselors together. Teenagers are not yet adults and need, more than anything, the guidance of mature, experienced and, most of all, loving adults.