Should teenagers be allowed to be mums?

The hot debate at the moment surrounds the rights of teens to keep their babies after falling pregnant at a young age. What’s the answer? Sometimes I wish we would stop looking for blanket answers to these questions and rather consider each individual case and also explore the bigger issues.

In 2015 there were 70 mothers aged just 15 and 190 aged 16. It has been reported that teenage pregnancies have fallen slightly over the past decade, but the number of 15-year-old mums remains constant.

So, what’s right? The difficult thing is at this age, for many women our bodies are made and ready to have children. It’s only the societal and cultural view these days that has extended the age of appropriate motherhood. Biologically nothing has changed. It doesn’t make it right for every 15-year-old to have a baby, but it does make the issue complex.

Because a woman’s body is ready to procreate, so are her hormones and mind. Desires set in and sex is being had by many teens. Due to the young age however, many young teens are not equip with adequate knowledge of these desires and hormones and also about safer sex as a result of these.

Whilst many continue to debate if young mothers should be able to keep their kids, I want to take things one further and ask, why are we not standing up and educating more younger teens so that motherhood for them can be a choice, not an accident with a potential fight against DOCS.

I do think that having children when someone is still a child themselves can rob them of a youth that is so important, but I don’t believe just because someone is a young Mum they should also be robbed of their chance to be a mother to the child they have created.

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