Too young to be a mom?

February 5, 2010 | NeW Staff

An 11-year-old girl in the Northeast recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy according to a report by Fox News. 11. That is correct. While she is not the youngest girl to give birth (that honor goes out to a 6-year-old in Peru in the early 20th Century), her story raises legitimate concerns about child and teen pregnancy rates that continue to be on the rise.

Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan, a leading high-risk obstetrician went on record with Fox News:  

“Her body is clearly not defined for pregnancy with its short stature,” Al-Khan said. “Her chest is not extensively developed for breast tissue, her bones aren’t quite fused, and once you expose a child this young to high amounts of progesterone and especially estrogen, there is controversy that it could halt her growth.”

Al-Khan continued to list a series of risks associated with girls giving birth so young. This list included the intense mental and emotional turmoil that undoubtedly comes along with the high dose of pregnancy hormones.

Despite the obvious question this story brings to mind–ie: who is the father?–I am saddened for this young girl. Any chance at a normal childhood is completely erased as she now has a baby to care for. It seems with each generation children are losing out more and more. Once innocent days of swinging at neighborhood parks disappears with real-life, adult pressures creeping into teenage years and for this girl, pre-teens.

What is the role of community in all this? Where is the support for children to just be children?

What do you think? How would you react if this story was the story of your younger sister?

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