Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Pregnant girls in the news again
'Antenatal clinics should be set up in schools to care for pregnant teenagers who are missing out on vital care, a major health watchdog said today.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) wants midwives to go into schools to offer advice to expectant young mothers and carry out health checks. Evidence shows that pregnant women under 20 often feel excluded from mainstream antenatal care and judged by their peers, NICE said.
The clinics would be part of a package of care aimed at women from deprived backgrounds, including those suffering domestic abuse, drug or alcohol misuse and women who struggle with written and spoken English. However, critics said the idea could "normalise" teenage pregnancy and increase the problem.'
(Note by Maria Roberts: Why are the words 'pregnancy' and 'young women' always clumped alongside every social disadvantage going?)
See the full story here on the guardian site. If you don't want to read that version, google the story and it'll come up everywhere else.
I have to say I'm baffled by this report, and that it is actually a news story.
My first thought was: WHY ISN'T THIS SERVICE HAPPENING ALREADY?
Oh, it's because there is this general ridiculous need to further alienate young women who don't conform to some idealized Middlemarch version of society:
Thought 1: Life is UNPREDICTABLE. And there is not AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL to be followed.
The article continues....
But Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said: "Bringing antenatal classes on to school premises runs the risk of normalising teenage pregnancy and of increasing the very problem it was intended to address.
(Note from Maria Roberts: oi, mister, I doubt that very much.
"Schools exist to assist and support parents in the education of their children, not to be the panacea for every social ill.
(Note from Maria Roberts: SOCIAL ILL? Question: 'Mr Norman Wells, does the thought of pregnant women make you feel physically sick?)'
"The more that schools are called on to shoulder the burden of problems created by a permissive society, the more they will lose their focus on imparting knowledge and teaching children to think in a rational and logical way."
NICE is absolutely correct, and these other buffoons are not. Young women, no matter what their situation, should be entitled to healthcare that keeps them well --- and an education that enables them to do well; In the same way that older men, with heavy drinking habits, are entitled to medical assistance with their prostates after pickling their guts for years.
Young women who fall pregnant are not symbols of 'social ills'. Girls are born with OVARIES. They will one day have BABIES. Yes, it would be far better if this happened later in life (for whom? the women or the children?), but sometimes it happens sooner.
Are we going to carry out checkups at aged 3, and if these girls don't show promise and stability, have them sterilized to prevent future problems? Withholding medical provision will not make teenage pregnancy go away. Contraception, a wonderful invention though it is, does not prevent all women from falling pregnant. I know, because I've been there.
Will we one day become so ashamed of our statistics that a woman must have an abortion unless she has 1. an income of £26k+ 2. a boyfriend who really, really won't do a runner and 3. She is aged 26+ with a university degree and a clutch of A*
A-levels.? By keeping a baby, is the girl not doing a noble thing? Committing herself to motherhood. A social necessity?
Wayward opinions of young mothers like Mr Oddball's are actually just a thinly veiled argument in favour of eugenics.
And another thing: where is any mention of young men? We cannot, and should not, write young men out of their responsibilities as fathers.
So I say YES YES YES have these clinics, and please, please, bring the boys into the classes. And let the boys be sitting beside them, not off playing football somewhere. If young women are already having babies in not so great circumstance, then at least give them the opportunity to create a happy family, and given them hope for their own future. Don't punish them for not being you, Norman Wells, and people just like you.