The Choice is yours and yours alone
We have all heard about stories where families shun or kick their daughters out of the house for becoming pregnant outside wedlock. Society often looks down upon or ostracise a girl for not taking precautions and becoming pregnant. This sounds like a myth but it occurs more often that we would like to think. This brief is going to explore such issues as well as discuss how these girls are rescued from such situations.
There is Girl X who has a boyfriend who pressures her into engaging into sexual activity without precaution and ends up pregnant as a result. Or in another instance she is raped by the boyfriend and then ends up falling pregnant. Of course, not all boys are rapists or molesters, but more often than not the two situations leave the girl without a remedy.
Girl X now pregnant tells, or in some instances doesn’t tell, her parents. If they reject her, she has no option but either to look for other means to either bring up the baby she is going to have or to get an abortion either legally or illegally i.e a ‘backstreet’ abortion as it is commonly called.
Most of the parents do not want her to keep the baby. She is usually abandoned by both her parents and boyfriend and ostracised by the community for being pregnant out of wedlock. Many girls in the situation of Girl X do not have many options and most are forced to abort their babies without being given other alternatives.
All is not lost
Luckily for Girl X all is not lost. There are many non-profit organisations which can aid her. One such organisation is Lil Choices which is a non-profit organisation established to assist girls in situations such as Girl X.
Lil Choices, established by Rae Bagus and her team of volunteers, protects the unborn child of a teenager as well as the teenager herself. It assists girls by providing a home for them to stay in. This organisation provides counselling and the necessary medical treatment needed for the girls to have their babies with dignity.
Rae, who houses the girls in her own home, assists with counselling. She works closely with an adoption agency showing the girls that they do not have to abort the babies that they cannot afford to raise, but that they can give the baby up for adoption to a family who will be capable to give the baby a good home and raise the baby properly.
The adoption agency that Rae works with does thorough background checks and investigations into prospective adoptive parents to ensure that the babies are not placed in homes where they might be abused or worse.
Organisations such as these deserve support. This organisation allows girls to have a choice and assists them wherever possible. Good Samaritans are not only individual people. They are embodied in organisations as well, such as Lil Choices. These organisations need assistance from corporates and individuals and should be praised for the work that they do. If it was not for them, then these girls will be left with minimal choices regarding their sexual health and the future of their unborn babies.
Arvitha Doodnath, Legal Researcher, HSF