(Copyright 1994. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

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

October 24, 1994

All alone at 16

By Bryan Pena

Editor's note: The student in this story spoke on the condition of confidentiality. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

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 irresponsbility 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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