Grace is Not Alone
by Threesa Sadler
Today’s teens live in an on-demand world. Everything they could ever want is at their fingertips. Including alcohol. And when you mix alcohol and teens, there is trouble. Alcohol gives confidence and it lowers inhibitions. When under the influence, teens are more likely to say yes, when they might otherwise say no. For Grace, her yes was to sex.
“I always said I was going to wait. Getting pregnant at 16 was not in the plan. I didn’t even know the guy that well, but it didn’t matter. After a few beers, it was hard to say no.” Grace is not alone. One US study found that almost a third of pregnant 14-21 year olds had been drinking when they became pregnant.(1) More than one third of sexually active teens and young adults age 15 to 24 report that alcohol or drug use has influenced them to do something sexual.(2)
Grace was pregnant and the guy was gone. Her family was scared for her future. How was she going to finish high school and college with a baby? That is when I met Grace. She came to our clinic needing answers. Grace considered all her options and bravely decided to place her baby with a loving family for adoption. Grace is now a freshman in college with a bright future.
Texas now leads the nation in teen pregnancy.(3) Alcohol plays a role in almost one third of those pregnancies. Talk to your kids. Tell them the dangers of alcohol and of sex. If they are already drinking, help them to stop. If they are already sexually active, talk to them about the reality of pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted infections. Don’t let your child become tomorrow’s statistic.
1-Flanigan et al 1990.
2,3-The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
Threesa Sadler is the Executive Director of A Woman’s Heart Pregnancy Resource Clinic.