Belfast Telegraph

Young girl denied freedom and fun of being carefree teenager

By Una Brankin

With children reaching puberty and engaging in sexual activity earlier and earlier nowadays, it’s not surprising that 15-year-olds become pregnant. But it doesn’t make it right.

Children should not have children. Adolescents’ brains are still developing up until 18. Instead of incubating another tiny brain, 15-year-olds should be learning all they can at school and about life, enjoying their free time with friends, dating, travelling and generally relishing their youth. The vast majority don’t know themselves at 15, never mind how to bring up a baby.

The young girl in question here is about to be plunged into the harsh realities of the adult world, in a sorry case of history repeating itself. Even if her family rally round, as I’m sure they will, she will lose the freedom her peers enjoy, and, unless she can put them on hold, the opportunities further education could bring her.

Perhaps she’s enjoyed a happy home life herself and has no qualms about becoming a schoolgirl mum, as her mum did. Indeed, perhaps her own mum agrees that it will all work out for the best.

But even if the mum feels it did her no harm to have a child while still so young, surely she would want her daughter to have all the opportunities open to her, chances she may not have had.

This young woman will have a child, whom I’m sure will be loved and cherished, but she is also being plunged prematurely into a world of adult cares and responsibilities.

I can’t help but think not of what she will gain, but of what she will have lost — the freedom and fun of being a carefree young teenager.

Belfast Telegraph

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