Each year, over 700,000 American teens, ages 15 to 19, become pregnant. According to the Guttmacher Institute (2008), over 425,000 teen pregnancies result in births. Unfortunately, about 180,000 of these teen pregnancies end in abortion, and about 100,000 end in miscarriage. While shows like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom sometimes glamorize the struggles of these young girls, being a teen mom is a costly and demanding sacrifice. It is a sacrifice that takes a great deal of courage and support.
These days, the costs of prenatal care and delivery can be quite steep. In a January 2013 study, data showed that women with insurance (commercial or Medicaid) paid an average of $3,400 out-of-pocket. A teenage girl may not have these finances. So how is a teen mom supposed to finish school and be a parent?
Meet Leah Broulliet. At 16-years-old, Leah became pregnant. After months of trying to deny the truth, she finally revealed her pregnancy to her family. While Gabby’s father was not in the picture, Leah had the support of her family and the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanders. The Maine Children’s Home was instrumental in helping Leah complete her high school education and raise her young child. With this support, Leah and her daughter are looking forward to life beyond the Children’s Home.
Finding support is critical for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Leah was able to overcome the challenges of teen pregnancy because she had the help of her family and the Children’s Home. However, others may still be searching for resources to assist them. There are hundreds of maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers across the United States. To find the support that you or your friend may need, please check out: www.optionline.org.
This post was contributed by Beth O’Malley, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. The original article and video featuring Leah Broulliet can be found here: The cost of being a pregnant teen (Kaitlyn Chana, WLBZ).