teen pregnancyMany people honestly believe that being “pro-choice” means that you’re “pro-abortion.” The idea is ignorant and false. I think there are very, very few people in this country that are “pro-abortion.” The entire point of the pro-choice movement is that women should be free to decide if and when they want to have a child. Women who become pregnant should be able to determine on their own, without any input aside from a possible medical provider, if they want to carry that pregnancy to term. Attempting to make that choice for someone else, whether it results in the birth of a child or the termination of a pregnancy, is the very opposite of pro-choice.

I explain this, because I think it’s important for people to realize that no one who is truly pro-choice would support two parents in attempting to force an abortion on their 16-year-old pregnant daughter.

Now, most of us realize that having a child at the age of 16 is not the optimal way to start a family. That being said, there are lots of very young mothers who grow up quickly, take responsibility for their children, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. We should not act like teen pregnancy automatically regulates someone to a substandard existence for the rest of their lives. And we would hope that any young girl who gets pregnant would be supported and encouraged by her family members, no matter what choice she makes.

In this case, that sadly hasn’t happened. A Houston girl has been told by her father that she must have an abortion because it’s “his choice” to make. She’s been told that her mother is attempting to slip abortion medication into her drinks or food. This young girl is going through a difficult and stressful time, and instead of being able to lean on her family, they’re making life even more difficult.

Now, this girl is rightfully suing her family for attempting to force her to have an abortion. It can be noted that this young woman has the right to sue because Roe v. Wade gives every woman the right to make her own choice about her pregnancy.

The fact is, this mother and father are sad excuses for parents. And their daughter, by standing up for her rights and asserting her independence, is already proving to be a more responsible parent than either of the two she was born to. This young woman has every right to carry her child to term and to raise that child to the best of her abilities. It won’t be easy for a teenager, but that her challenge to take.

It is incredibly disappointing that this girl won’t have the love of a close-knit family to help her. That only makes a tough job even more difficult.

It’s as simple as this: Every woman should have full control over her own reproductive health. This 16-year-old girl needs to be able to safely carry her child to term, just like another woman needs to be able to decide that she’s not ready for motherhood or not able to support another child.

Pro-choice means just that: freedom to choose. And this young girl deserves that choice.

(Photo: Sam72/Shutterstock)