A Michigan horror story

Nov 22, 2004

A Michigan teenage couple from a rural area north of Detroit decided to terminate the girl's unwanted pregnancy. Apparently blocked from finding another way, they agreed that the young man should beat his pregnant girlfriend in the belly with a baseball bat. After attempting this several times over a number of days, the 16-year old woman finally miscarried.

How desperate was this young woman that she decided to have someone beat her with a baseball bat. And how much damage did she do to herself – having done this, she apparently got no medical attention afterwards.

We might as well be living in the dark ages, when women swallowed poisonous concoctions and poked themselves with long handled iron hooks to produce a spontaneous abortion. If anyone doubts that we are still there, all they had to do was listen to the moralistic denunciations of this young couple, coming from people who advised other teenagers to avoid such a horrible dilemma by "just saying no."

What crap. The fact is, teenagers are sexually active – sixty% of Michigan's high school seniors admit to having had sex, most of them somewhat regularly. There is nothing unusual in this – it's the result of our biology. And, in fact, teenagers in this country engage in sex at about the same frequency as teenagers in Europe.

But there is one important difference between teenagers here and those in Europe. Here they get pregnant much more frequently – about 40% of all American women get pregnant while they are still in their teens. This is by far the highest teenage birth rate in the developed world. It is accounted for by the fact that most teenagers in this country have no access to either birth control nor to medical abortion.

Abortion itself is a horrible choice – the mark that we live in a barbaric society, which offers no good choices to women who, for whatever reason, should not or do not want to be pregnant. But when even that choice is effectively denied any woman, then the options left are even more horrible.

This young couple has paid a terrible price because of it.