Not only do teenage pregnancy stories serve to make girls feel like there is someone out there listening to them, they also show girls and others that the statistics listed on all the reports talking about the “teen pregnancy problem” are not merely numbers. Those statistics represent human beings with emotions.
The statistics on abortion are particularly deceiving in their coldness. It is easy for someone to rattle off percentages when there is no face attached to them. But teenage pregnancy stories make it more difficult to reduce teenage experiences to mere numbers.
Indeed, the case with abortion illustrates the difficulty in classifying teenage pregnancy with simple statistics. Teenage pregnancy stories illustrate that many teenagers are devastated by an abortion: “The day I aborted my baby I lost the will to live. Everything I ever built up I threw away. Through grief and pain I dropped out of college, threw myself into partying and fell out with all my best friends…A year on, the pain is still as strong as it was the day I told my unborn child I was sorry I was taking its life away.”
Some who would have felt relieved are haunted by the experience forever because of physical complications: “About 3 years ago my husband and I started trying for a baby. I didn’t expect there to be any complications. After all, I knew I could get pregnant. After 2 years of trying we went to see a doctor. Cutting a long story short, after many tests on both sides, it turns out my fallopian tubes are blocked after an infection I picked up after having the abortion when I was 19. Thanks to my careless teenage ways, my husband and I are now having to go through the very stressful and trying process that is IVF as this is our only chance of ever having the baby we so wish for. The daily guilt I feel is unbearable.”
Others, however, enjoy the full feeling of relief: “Physically I wasn’t in any pain and more importantly, I wasn’t an emotional wreck! I’d made my peace with my God and my decision long before I went in for the procedure and knew I wanted so much more for this child than I could give right now…I hoped by sharing my positive experience, someone considering an abortion can realize that it doesn’t have to be the negative experience we are made to think it will be…”
Numbers can’t describe the feeling of being pressured into having an abortion, though teenage pregnancy stories can: “I think I knew deep down that I didn’t want to go through with it but I guess I just wanted someone to rescue me and tell me that I would be ok, but nobody did.”
While statistics are useful to get a quick idea of the general characteristics of a situation, teenage pregnancy stories, rather than statistics, are needed to fully understand the experiences of the women behind the “teenage pregnancy epidemic.”