At age 54, if the mother of my children came to me and said she was pregnant I would probably fall through the floor.
I know the hurdles of raising children. I know the demands of a baby. I know things pregnancy does to a woman’s body – and mind. I know having children is not something children can handle.
With all that said, the Chickasaw Journal has embarked on a five-part series on teen pregnancy.
The latest numbers for teen pregnancy are down in Chickasaw County and across the country. It appears someone, somewhere has figured out what causes this problem.
Sadly, Mississippi still leads the nation in teen pregnancy and the number of teen mothers in our community is still way too high.
It is easy to make broad general statements about solutions to teen pregnancy. Most are not based on facts and most have no basis in science or good moral conscience. It’s even easier to say it is not my concern. The saddest response is many people just don’t care.
And that bothers me the most.
As the father of teenaged boys I have learned they don’t always make good decisions. Things happen quickly in their lives and since they are teenagers, they look to me to fix it. And as every parent sadly knows, you can’t fix everything.
Life happens. And good or bad it happens to us all.
One of the facts I learned writing today’s story is that it is crime for anyone to coerce a girl into having an abortion – and that goes for parents.
We hope you will read this series looking for information and answers. You’ll need them if you are ever faceed with a teen pregnancy.
You see, knowledge and facts are the only way we will ever find real solutions to teen pregnancy.
It has not been easy to talk to people about teen pregnancy.
There are social and moral issues that are different for each of us. The mores and rules at the Ingram household are probably different from many homes in this town.
Pregnancy is a very personal and private matter. Teen pregnancy even more so.
We have reached out to a wide variety of people and resources in Chickasaw County. Some were eager to talk and discuss solutions, others were a little more paranoid and concerned with how their statements might be taken by different segments of the community.
I admire the courage of people willing to look a tough problem in the eye and discuss it in a frank and civil manner.
Let’s face it, teen pregnancy is a serious fact of life in this community.
Teen pregnancy is not something you can ignore.
This week’s article deals with the fact and figures surrounding teen pregnancy.
Next week Lisa Voyles starts a series of feature stories that tell about teen moms, teen dads and the grandparents who know first hand what this issue is all about.
There is not a doubt in my mind this entire series will be a good read.
You see, just like a baby, this series of stories started as an idea, became action and we are birthing it today. We will see how this story matures in our community.
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org