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Don’t Accept Me In Spite Of My Baby

21 Feb

I’ve been applying to colleges recently, and one of the issues that’s brought up a lot by everyone who knows that is my young motherhood. Will the admissions committees think I’m irresponsible or unreliable? Will they accept me in spite of my bad decisions? Will they see past…

Oh, shut it.

If schools see my pregnancy and my daughter as blind-side or a mistake, they are discriminating. A pregnancy is not comparable to disciplinary infractions or a drug problem. A pregnancy is a natural occurrence that shouldn’t be judged in anyone who proves themselves capable of handling it, which I’m pretty sure I have. If admissions people feel that it offends their sensibilities to see a bright, young girl get knocked up, that’s on them. Motherhood has, if anything, made me brighter, more responsible, and more passionate than I could possibly have been otherwise. Anyone who thinks I’m worse for wear because of it is bigoted and deluded.

Also… Harvard? Just so you know? Lots of your students have had abortions. So please don’t think my pregnancy shows anything particular about my character except the fact that I’m human.

Teen Girls’ Birth Control Often Sabotaged

21 Feb

You know how people who are really disgusted by teen moms often say that we’re morons who should know more about birth control? Well, aside from the facts that a) many schools’ sex education is purely abstinence only and b) even mature adults have surprise pregnancies, a new study provides another reason those who judge might want to shut their traps:

Young women and teenage girls often face efforts by male partners to sabotage their birth control or coerce or pressure them to become pregnant — including by damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives. These behaviors, defined as “reproductive coercion,” are often associated with physical or sexual violence.

Conducted by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, this study turns the “She got pregnant to trap me,” trope on its head. Though it doesn’t apply to all teen moms, it probably applies to many of us who don’t even realize it’s the case. It’s shocking and tremendously important for girls and women to know that this can happen to them and for societal as a whole to recognize this as the form of domestic violence it truly is.

Colleges Want Teen Moms

21 Feb

If you wonder if any colleges actively work to create positive environments for teen moms, the answer is yes. In a College Confidential forum post dated August 18, 2008, Sally Rubenstone, a professional college counselor, shared information about schools with strong support systems for teen moms.

“Lately I’ve received a growing number of queries from teenage moms who are looking for a four-year college program with on-campus housing for mother and child(ren). Although many colleges and universities offer special housing for students with children, my mail is usually from those seeking schools that provide other forms of support as well, such as year-round housing, free child care, parenting seminars, etc.

The option I recommend most often is the Women With Children Program at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, which offers not only housing (year-round!) but also ongoing support and special financial aid targeting this population. (Babies must be at least 20 months). See Wilson College: Women with Children Program

To read more of her recommendations, check out the rest of her post.