Safe Havens: Saving Teen Moms

A teenager in Brooklyn, N.Y., is being investigated after her dead newborn was found in her bedroom. If she had known about her options, could she have saved herself and her baby?


Lorde-Rollins added that because these teens are hiding their pregnancies, they don’t get vital prenatal care or even monitor their own health in order to protect their growing babies.

Like many facilities around the country, the Adolescent Health Center provides free and confidential services, including counseling and health care. Safe-haven laws and services are nothing new, but there is still a huge need to raise awareness.

There are many who take issue with educating teenagers about post-pregnancy options because they think it absolves teenagers from facing the full consequences of having a baby and, more important, of having sex. But the fact is, teenagers are having sex. And you can teach abstinence instead of explicit sex education all day long — young girls are still going to get pregnant. Just ask Sarah Palin.

Let me be clear: I don’t advocate teen sex or teen pregnancy. I am well aware of how becoming a teen mother can often ruin that young lady’s future. These mothers are less likely to graduate from high school, and typically find it difficult to find a good job or a successful career.

But I do believe what is far worse is the murder of a newborn by a scared and confused young mother who will have to live with the psychological effects of killing her own baby and, if caught, face felony charges.

How can anyone be opposed to giving these girls a better alternative? Whether or not you are a parent, whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, whether or not you think teens should have access to contraceptives — there is really only one side here.

Educate yourself on the safe-haven laws and services in your area. Take the time to hand out pamphlets or hang posters around town. Encourage local schools to include this information as a part of sex education. And most important, talk to the young teens in your life — with parental consent, if you’re not the parent or guardian.

Teen pregnancy is a problem. But the choices that a young girl makes after giving birth could turn a problem into a tragedy. 

Jacque Reid is a broadcast journalist and a contributing editor to The Root. Listen to her biweekly on The Tom Joyner Morning Show, visit her at and follow her on Twitter.

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