Pregnant at 15: One EL Teen’s Pregnancy Story

Despite declining rates, teen pregnancy is still leaving many young girls facing difficult decisions.

Despite declining rates, teen pregnancy is still leaving many young girls facing difficult decisions.

By Rahma Ali, ’15

Although the national teen pregnancy rate has been continuously declining over the past two decades to a historic all time low, teen pregnancies are still occurring. Edward Little student Autumn Edwards is one of those stories.

Edwards, a 15-year-old freshman honor student who is 6 months pregnant, watched her whole life dramatically change after she found out she was pregnant. Family, friends, teachers, everyone she knew started to treat her differently, she said. “It sucks how everyone starts to treat you like another human when you’re still just the same person you were before,” said Edwards.

Edwards lost many friends, she said. They told her she was too young to be pregnant, according to Edwards. Friends slowly left her life, and some of them told her it’s because she is pregnant. “I’ve been getting alot of hate and ugly stares, but there was a point where I was super shy about all of this, but now I don’t mind when people ask me questions.”

Senior Dominique Morin is one friend that has stuck by Edwards. “She’s going to make it work to the best of her ability,” Morin said. “She now has friends and family support and yes, she’s a freshman and scared, but most mothers are.”

Edwards said she’s keeping the baby because “…it was my mistake and I don’t want to get rid of the baby just because I don’t want to deal with it.”

So far, her pregnancy has been healthy. She found out on Nov. 1 she is having a boy. She also meets with her midwife every month to check on the baby.

The school does offer support to pregnant students, according to Mike Dunn, Edward Little guidance counselor. “We provide one on one counseling,” he said. “If a student needs ongoing counseling, we may refer the student to one of the social workers in the building. Depending on the situation we will consult with teachers to support the student with academics.”

In order to keep her honor roll distinction, Edwards is taking her second semester courses during her study halls so when she does give birth later this year she will not fall behind.

In 2012 alone, there were around 30 births for every 1,000 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 and due to their young age, around 89 percent of these births were to single mothers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The baby’s father, also a freshman, is not involved. “He left right after he figured out I was pregnant,” Edwards said. “Of course I was mad at first, but I’m gradually learning how to move on. I’m constantly learning new things I have to know and do as a mother and I hope he will eventually know what to do as a father.”

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