Shame From All Angles: Why Doesn’t Anyone Seem to Respect Teen Parents?

November 22, 2013

In a decision based more on opinion than fact, a Nebraska Supreme Court judge ruled that a 16-year-old pregnant teen in foster care could not have the abortion she was seeking, even though she had the law on her side. The judge ruled that despite demonstrating a tremendous amount of maturity in navigating the judicial process on her own, the young woman was “too immature” to make the decision of whether or not to have an abortion.

While many articles about the casehave pointed to the irony of being too young to make decisions, but old enough to parent, the issues at stake in this case go much deeper. In our culture and in our politics, generalizations about teenage sexuality, pregnancy, and parenting are too often used to reinforce a negative narrative and to score points.


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