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Author Topic: 13 yr old pregnant her mom making her keep the child?
lovie
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Alright so I used to work at a community center where a lot of poor/bad kids would go after school. I no longer work there and I've kept in contact with a few of the teenagers just because I knew they have a really rough background and I know there is a lack of support from their family at home. Well one of the girls told me today she is pregnant and she's only 13 (if that) and her own mother isn't letting her have any say what will happen with the child. She is making her own child keep the baby. I obviously know I can't do anything personally about this - but I know she doesn't know what she wants to do with the baby. She said her mother wont let her give it up or get an abortion. But isn't there anything someone can do for this girl? Shes only a kid shes not ready to raise a child, her mother even pulled her out of school. I couldn't imagine if I was older and had a daughter who was having a child at 13.. Thats just not right.. :/ I want to help her all that I can because she's such an amazing sweet girl she needs the best life she can get, so does the baby but I don't think the child will get the needed things.. I don't think they're a very stable family.. Just from what I know of the kids.. Is there anything anyone can do for her? :/
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OWL Dan
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Unfortunately, because she is that young, the only thing I can suggest would be to call children's/family protective services for where she lives and ask them what options are available. I wish there was more that I could offer you. [Frown]

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Dan

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Kachina
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Is this in the USA? I'm pretty sure no matter what age you are you have full reproductive rights here and no one else, even your parents, can force you to give birth, have an abortion, have an adoption, not have an adoption, etc. I would call CPS.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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lovie
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Its okay I figured CPS would probably be my only option.. but don't I have to know where she lives and all of that? I did talk to her and I don't think she really wants to keep the baby she said she's going to talk to her mom but I don't really know what that will entail.. :/
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OWL Dan
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Kac,

I truly wish that there was more that could be done! Even if you were able to get her help with the pregnancy problem this time, she would still end up having to continue living with her mom and in a possible hostile environment (for defying her mom). It is a ‘Catch 22’ situation where nobody wins. [Frown]

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Dan

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lovie
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Ya I just couldn't imagine giving birth at 13 is safe. :/
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OWL Dan
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I can't imagine any part of this situation being safe. Too bad you don't know her address.

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Dan

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I was out of town while this thread happened, and want to make sure to add a couple important things that got missed here.

I assume you at least know what state she lives in if this is through an in-person center you have worked at, right? In other words, you probably only served young people who could get there, and thus, were probably in that state?

That said, if you know what state she's in, that's all you need to know to call CPS, because you'd call the one in your area.

But you also don't just have to call CPS. If you're still in communication with her, you can give her information about her rights. In some states, parental consent or permission is required for abortion: in others, it is not. I can help clear that up for you if you tell me what state you're in, or you can look here for that information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_US_minor_abortion_laws.svg

Even in states where parental permission or consent IS required, there's something called a judicial bypass: that means that a young person can go to court and ask for that policy to be waived for them. Her local abortion clinic can help her with that system if she needs/wants to try this that way and is in a state where she'd have to. Again, in some states, her mother simply does not have the right here to make this decision for her.

I don't see a need here to yet talk about if her remaining pregnant is safe or not physically (it can be, it can't be, and it's complex, not as simple as just how old someone is, even though being a young teen does make complications and health issues more likely, much like being over 40 and pregnant does), because it seems to me the issue at hand right now is about helping this girl get to a space where she can first figure out what choice she wants to make, not what choice her mother wants.

Last but not least, you could direct her here and we'd be happy to talk her through all of this directly, if she'd like.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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lovie
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I live in Arizona, so I guess one parent has to give consent :/ I will talk to her soon about it.. see if shes talk to her mom or anything. I will do so!
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Heather
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She could still seek out a judicial bypass if she felt she wanted to terminate her pregnancy.

Again, what she can do to get connected to that process is to go to a clinic that is either clearly pro-choice or to a clinic which provides abortion services, like her local Planned Parenthood. She doesn't need her mother's permission to go to a clinic and ask about her options or to get information on how to seek out a judicial bypass.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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lovie
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Ya I just let her know about all this information but I guess neither parents will allow her to get an abortion and I guess the doctors already told her shes at risk if she continues with this pregnancy.. I said well then your parents might lose both you and the baby and she said I know and I told them that.. And apparently they said "Its a hard chance but its a risk they're willing to take," I also had asked if she wants to take that risk and she said "I guess, I'm not sure," so I'm not sure what to do because I think I'm one of the few people who know about this and I'm afraid to get myself involved but I obviously care more about her life.. but I'm terrified of the parents finding out..
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Heather
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I think you're missing some of what I said here.

Judicial bypass is a legal process in which a minor can ask the court to allow them to make their own choice, even when a parent objects, even in states where parental permission or notification is required.

As well, she has the legal right to go talk to someone who can help her evaluate all her choices. If she's saying she's not sure, that says to me she needs someone to have that conversation with.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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lovie
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No I know I just don't know how she would get to a judge, or what her parents will do if she decides to do it without their consent.. (I've also passed on this info to her so I guess we'll see)

I'm trying to get her to talk to me about how she feels about it but I know she's unsure so I'm going to see if she has internet so she can come on here and maybe talk to one of you guys. Or maybe I'll have to take her into a planned parenthood or something like that.

Thank you for all your help. I'll keep you updated or maybe she will even do so herself by joining.

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Heather
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I'm around all day and am trained to do options counseling, so if she can get access and wants to talk here, I'd be happy to do that with/for her.

She also can call legal aid about this, and/or may need to get sneaky to go see them or get to Planned Parenthood. If she chose to have sex when she became pregnant, chances are she does know how to get away from her parents for a bit, you know? So, she can employ those same skills to see a lawyer or her branch of child protective services. She could also see if she could see her doctor alone or call that doctor and ask for their help.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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lovie
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Well I also just found out shes 3 months pregnant so I think that changes things.. I don't know how far along the cut off is for an abortion.. but I'm pretty sure 3 months is too late.. Correct?
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Heather
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No, it is not. In the United States, in most states, elective abortion is legal and available through (more or less) the second trimester. In cases of health risks, it can sometimes be available later than that.

What I'd suggest is that you make sure when you talk to her you do what you can do, rather than imparting any guesses around what's possible for her. When any of that is outside your ken, your best bet is to refer her to someone who does know. That way, you don't wind up accidentally making her think she doesn't have options or choices or rights she may have. Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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lovie
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Ya I didn't say anything that I didn't personally get from here.. I know I'm not the expert so I don't wanna mislead her at all.. so I'm being careful with what I tell her.
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