I just heard about this story on Family Radio the radio the other day, involving a 17-year-old, pregnant teen in Utah, who allegedly paid a man to beat her up and induce a miscarriage. This young woman is accused of paying 21-year-old Arron Harrison $150 to beat her up, after her boyfriend threatened to break up with her if she didn’t get rid of the child. She is now being charged in Juvenile Court with first degree felony criminal solicitation to commit murder, and she has been ordered by a Judge to remain in Juvenile Detention.
I must say that I am both horribly shocked but at the same time, not terribly surprised, by this unfortunate story. When I was in high school and college myself, and now even when I visit high school and college campuses when I speak across the U.S., the incidence of young women inducing their own miscarriages was and is very commonplace. What makes this young woman’s story so unique is the length at which she was willing to go to have this miscarriage, and the subsequent response to it.
I am saddened that this young woman felt such obvious pressure to end her pregnancy, for fear of losing her boyfriend. Why is it that we punish this young woman for the poor choice that she made to place herself and her unborn child at risk, while her boyfriend, who influenced this decision, goes without any consequence? Unfortunately, this is also a very common circumstance in our world; out of fear of losing her family, her friends, her significant other, her job or education, many women feel like ending their pregnancy, despite their own feelings about their unborn child, about having an abortion, is the only choice available to them to meet their needs. All the while, the family, partner, friend, employer, whomever gave her the ultimatum, whomever backed her into a corner where she felt like abortion was the only choice, are not consequenced, are not even confronted by society for their actions or inactions to support the woman.
I don’t know for sure what drove my own mother to enter the hospital in August of 1977 to undergo the abortion attempt that was meant to take my life, but from what I’ve gathered so far from my biological father’s family, it may very well have been her father, my biological maternal grandfather, who influenced her to have the abortion. My biological parents had dated for four years before becoming pregnant with me and from all accounts, they were in love with one another. No one in my biological father’s family had any idea that my biological mother was ever pregnant with my father’s child. The only thing that they do recall is that one night back in 1977, my maternal grandfather called my biological father and told him to “never darken their doorstep again.” My biological parents broke up, and she was never seen with my father again. My grandfather, a school administrator, was known to be a very demanding, commanding, controlling individual, and from the sounds of it, my mother’s life was not off limits to his control.
It’s interesting isn’t it, how this young woman, not much younger than my mother was when she became pregnant with me, is being charged with felony to commit murder for this incident, which gratefully did not severely harm her or her baby, but yet my own biological mother, who went through a five-day attempt to end my life, was never consequenced or scrutinized for the very same “choice” she made to attempt to end her child’s life. Please know, by no means, do I believe that my mother should have faced criminal penalty for her choice to end my life, (her penalty has been to have to live with this for the rest of her life and ultimately face God someday), but I do want to point out the inconsistencies in our treatment of women and their so-called “choices”, and the often double standards that we impose.
I pray that this young woman comes out of this incident as best as she can, and that no matter what she chooses to do with her child, whether she keeps it, puts it up for adoption, that the baby is unharmed and is loved for who they are. I can relate to this young woman’s unborn child. I may have been unplanned by my biological mother, but I was far from being an unwanted child-just ask my adoptive parents.