The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

Vol. 1, No. 3

October 24, 1994


Life as a teen mother

Becoming a teenager mother means losing your freedom, said a recent Bristol high school graduate who is still coping with the consequences. By Jenny Jenkins

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Dear Diary

I don't know where else to turn. I'm not even sure myself. If my parents knew anything, they'd kill me, my friends would desert me, and as of Chris, I don't think he's ready or willing to be a daddy right now. 

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Young Parents Program gives teen mothers a chance to stay in school

Who care about Bristol's teen mothers? By Rose Mamie Kowalchuk

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Counselor helps if you choose abortion

Picture yourself in a society which generally condemns single pregnant women -- and you are one of them. Where do you turn? By Rachel Jennings

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Teen sex not new

Teenage sex and pregnancy has been around for a very long time and that is why I believe that there is no more going on now than there was 50 years ago. By Rose Mamie Kowalchuk

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Psst! Get Tattooed!

If you are in high school and thinking about a career in journalism, consider joining The Tattoo.

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The printed version of this page also contained a photograph by Jenny Jenkins that is unavailable online.

Preventing Pregnancy

Failure rates for popular birth control methods:

The Pill -- 3 percent

Diaphram -- 6 percent

Condom -- 2 percent

IUD -- 3 percent

Sponge -- 9 percent

Cervical Cap -- 6 percent

Withdrawal -- 4 percent

No method -- 85 percent

-- By Geremy Wallace


All alone at 16

By Bryan Pena

Two days before school started this year, Lori, a 16-year-old student at Bristol Eastern High School, discovered she was pregnant.

She remembers the emotional day when she cried, and cried, and cried some more.

That day was the day she found out she was pregnant. Her parents still don't know, and that is what she says scares her the most. Her brother, she said, is the only one who knows her secret.

When she told the baby's father about her pregnancy, he said he wanted nothing to do with her or the child.

Suddenly, Lori's thoughts are shifting away from those of other teenagers in town.

Like her classmates, Lori should be happily thinking about the mere two years left before graduation, or browsing through piles of college and scholarship application forms, but instead she is found trying to figure out how to tell her parents the terrible truth.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to break the high expectations of a college hopeful. One night of irresponsibility could do it all and result in the girl becoming pregnant.

Lori only blames herself for half the problem.

The other half she blames on unawareness about the consequences of having premarital sex. She claims that she was never educated in or out of school about teenagers having sex or anything related to the topic.

She says that young kids now should be more open with their parents and talk to them about sex and protection, because she never did.

To other teenagers, she says, "You should wait to have sex until you are mature and ready to have kids."

But Lori also said she sees nothing wrong with having premarital sex.

Lori admits that she thought about having an abortion, but decided not to do it because she doesn't believe in it unless the woman was either raped or in a life or death situation.

Young, pregnant and alone, Lori is not sure what her next move will be.

When asked where she planned to live and how she planned to support herself and her child, she just shrugged her shoulders.

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Options for teens

By Tracey Klimkoski and Jill Synnott

Do you feel uncomfortable talking to your parents about sex? Would you ever ask your school nurse or health teacher about birth control or condoms?

If you're sexually active and concerned about diseases, do you feel safe asking your friends for accurate advice? If you are a concerned teenager and answered yes to any of these questions, you may be unaware of this available help:

Planned Parenthood of Connecticut -- 1030 New Britain Ave., West Hartford - (860) 953-621

Summit Women's Medical Centers -- 360 Market St., Hartford - (860) 493-6575

AIDS Counseling and Testing (state) -- (860) 509-7806

You can also call 211 and ask for referrals to the proper social service agency.

Birth control is available after an exam. You can also get confidential tests for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Fees are income-based.

Parental permission isn't needed and counseling is an option.

If you are dealing with a scary situation alone, or if you and your partner have questions, please know that help is available.

Some copies of this issue of The Tattoo remain available. Please contact The Tattoo by phone or email to request one.