Monday, February 27, 2006

Teenage Pregnancies

Snafu at Not Proud of Britain links to a story on a teenage pregnancy in Torbay, where the council have said they will give a 13-year-old mother the necessary support to raise her child.

The tone seems to be one that questions this; moreover, much of the right-wing comment on teenage pregnancy comes on the line of insinuating that the mothers are benefit scroungers. There's definitely hostility towards governmental assistance being given to teenage parents.

What I want to know is, how can you morally justify such a position? I appreciate that these people are law-breakers. But if the age of consent laws have any justification, it must be on the grounds that the people involved aren't mature enough to deal with the potential consequences of their actions - namely, having a child.

Indeed, the whole point of the benefits being given to the mother are to assist with the upbringing of the child! The behaviour of the mother and the father of the child may be reproachable - but that's not the fault of the kid. He or she is going to have enough problems being brought up in that sort of situation as it is, without suffering from stigmatising the parents through the withdrawal of benefits.

If Torbay Council wasn't giving the requisite and necessary support to the teenage mother, that's when I'd start being worried.