Last night MTV aired No Easy Decision, the decision of teenage mom making the choice to end her second pregnancy in two years. They promised to show all aspects of the story to show how hard a decision it really is to end the life of your unborn child.
For the most part I think that they did a good job. Markai is about 17 or 18 and has a one year old daughter. She is with the same young man and they are trying to build a life together along with their baby. She and her boyfriend have issues with their relationship as one can imagine. Raising a child is an all-consuming effort that doesn’t lend itself very well to hanging out with your friends. It also requires money. They are struggling with both not only as individuals but also as a couple. Marriage and child rearing take real committment, it is difficult task when you are mature, so one can only imagine how much harder it is when you are not.
Markai was using a form of birth control that I am not that familiar with. It requires going to a doctor every so often to receive a shot. Markai missed her follow-up appointment and became pregnant again. She says that she didn’t realize that by getting her shot late she was no longer protected. We can leave the stupidity of that for another time.
The special showed Markai making a phone call to the abortion clinic and asking questions about the procedures that were offered; they offered both a surgical or pharmaceutical option. They also showed her speaking to her mom and one of her close friends about the decision. It seems that largest part of the decision came down to finances. She and her boyfriend were discussing money issues and he told her stories of going through times of not having much food and having utilities shut off as a child. He didn’t want to put his child through the same. This is a perfectly understandable concern.
The show tried to highlight that it is an agonizing decision that is not taken lightly. But, at the end of the day they failed at that. Not because of Markai’s reactions, but because they were not being honest with themselves. Markai opted for the surgical procedure and had a nurse with her. On the ride home she explained to her boyfriend that the people at the abortion clinic explained to her she couldn’t think of 10 fingers and 10 toes. She couldn’t think beyond that it was nothing but a bunch of cells, because she wouldn’t be able to go through with it if she did. But, the problem is that since Markai already has a child, she knows that there are 10 fingers and 10 toes. She says as much during an emotional outburst with her boyfriend the next evening; pointing to her daughter and saying those cells turn into her, pointing to her little girl who was sucking on her bottle.
At the end of the show they had two more young women come and join Markai to talk about their abortions. What was really telling about this little exercise is the fundamental dishonesty that they had with themselves. One of the young women says that she has no regret about her decision all the while crying was she was saying it. She also talked about how her decision was made as a parent. Really? The first and foremost thing that you do as a parent is to keep your child safe from harm. She also talked about her sister who is teenage mom and that was part of her decision process. She also cried when she talked about her nephew and it was sometimes hard to be around him. Yet still said that she has no regret. Why the tears if there is no regret? You don’t normally cry over a decision that you believe to be the right one.
The other young woman lives in a state that requires parental notification for minors. She explained how she didn’t want to disappoint her parents by telling them about her being pregnant yet is willing to talk about on national television. She went to court to get an exemption so she didn’t have to talk to her parents. Personally, I would be so hurt to find out that my daughter didn’t trust me enough to talk to me. I would feel that I failed as a parent by not being that safe harbor for my child. She also discussed how she made her decision based on what was best for her child and it was done out of an act of compassion.
While I have very mixed feelings about abortion the more I realize how abortion is really marketed to young women the stronger my feelings are against it. Abortion has become an answer to a conceived problem instead the act that it is. There is no way around this one fact, we all started in the same fashion. We were once just a “bunch of cells”. We need to stop telling young women that it is a bunch of cells. We need to explain to women that it is a life. We need to explain that there is a heartbeat, that what they are going to look like has already been decided. It is much more than a bunch of cells. You are taking a life, not just getting rid of a perceived problem. If they fully understand this and still choose an abortion, that is on them. At least they made an informed and honest decision. But, tell young women the truth.
The young women were asked about adoption and all ruled it out easily saying that they couldn’t go through nine months of pregnancy and child-birth to only turn around and give the child away. The all agreed it took a very strong woman to do so. I contend that it takes a strong will to end the life of your child and just say to yourself that it was just a bunch of cells or that you are making that decision as a parent without admitting regret. If you can do that, how hard can it be to give that child life and make the dreams of parenthood to an infertile couple come true?
Cross posted at PotLuck