High School Mothers Matter

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

High school mothers matter.

High school mothers matter, because mothers matter.

If she experiences pregnancy during the formative years of adolescence, the young mother deserves unobtrusive validation and unconditional love.


In Recent News

Less than a week ago, a teen mother experienced a natural miscarriage in a second floor bathroom stall at her public high school.

And, as the baby was discovered yet in the basin of the toilet by the school janitor, the high school principal alerted the local authorities.

The authorities arrived by vehicle.  By helicopter.  By what high school students called a “swarm.”


I personally hold a great deal of respect for our authorities and I understand the urgency in defending the life of this baby, and the importance of investigating to ensure that the mother is safe.

The fact that media coverage is painting an overarching response by police doesn’t seem coincidental and it seems like a ploy to turn one mother’s loss into propaganda against authorities trained to serve and protect our communities.

I sought a medical provider.  I learned that my baby was not alive, and my provider literally said, “We need to get that debris out of there.”

I gave birth in my bathroom.

And my baby had no medical right, no legal right.  I felt entirely abandoned and alone.

I do not appreciate the media coverage painting this story as if police were eager to barge into the school to shoot down an innocent girl.

The authorities were told that a teen girl had had a baby in the bathroom stall on a school day, and they came on the scene.  A situation like this would have a million different questions, each gigantically important and they had to respond.

I am glad that they did.


The Mistakes That Were Made

With that said, mistakes were made.

A spokesperson for the local initiative to promote the Baby Moses law offered a presumptuous, ill-informed message about the mother that was saturated in arrogance and offense.

Baby Moses law is a valuable opportunity for struggling new mothers of many situations.  It provides a small window of time in which the mother is exempt from criminal charges by relinquishing her baby to a designated institution such as a hospital, fire station, police station or even some churches.   This as an alternative to abandoning babies in trash cans, and it is an option that has and is saving lives.

Opportunities to provide mothers with real options, such as the many different approaches to adoption, teen single parent education and the Baby Moses initiative, do empower individuals and families to make the best decisions in the situations they are facing.

However, for a spokesperson of an infant crisis initiative to declare that the display of authorities entering into the public high school or even that the death of her baby was preventable had she chosen to carry to term is cruel, ill-timed and flat not true.

It’s speaking into an area the man knows not of.



By the age of 19, seven out of one hundred girls become pregnant.  And that’s not from a firmly pro-life source, that’s sourced from planned parenthood itself.

Add in the statistics that every minute a mother in the US experiences a pregnancy and infant loss, the reality that a teen mother can endure a spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth is real.

The reality that teens can face not only parenting, but bereavement, is real.


A Social Shortcoming

Teen parenting is hard.  Flat hard.  But coming from the place that every teen mother either should have an elective abortion or wants to have an elective abortion is offensively irresponsible and horrendously inappropriate.

Teen mothers face doubts of their abilities, not only as mothers, but as mothers who are charged with the balance of wearing the shame from their parents and/or local leaders, the isolation from their previous social construct, the pressure of maintaining grades during a pregnancy that requires prenatal medical appointments, and trying to make due with the lack of emotional support from a partner who is facing many of the exact same challenges, pressures and burdens.

These, among many other things.


High Schools Need Help

Here are just a few questions to consider:

  • Does high school sex education or parenting education discuss anything at length about miscarriage, stillbirth, or grief?
  • Is this young mother receiving physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support according to her beliefs and needs after having experienced miscarriage?
  • What has happened or will happen with the physical form of the baby?
  • How will this janitor be gently validated?
  • How is the school going to address the longterm impact of grief amongst the students – this mother and her friends and peers – after learning that a baby was born not alive on their campus?


There are options.  Options not just for teen mothers, but options for those who are in roles of authority or charged with their care.

Inspired by Lisa Miller, stillbirthday has a Church and Campus Doula tuition discount program as an opportunity into our comprehensive birth & bereavement training to prepare individuals to serve as doulas (through our online doula program for a dramatic discount on tuition) who have a heart to serve within specific congregations of any faith or to serve as a real, tangible support for students on any school campus.  In fact, it was Lisa who first came to know about the recent situation and the young mother in the high school.


An Open Letter to the Young Mother


To a warrior,

What you have faced, I do not know all the details of.  Were you in love?  Did you know you became pregnant?  Did he know?

Oh, sweet young friend, I wonder so many things about you.

Did you know that labor was happening?  Did you feel alone?

I think of you and in my mind I see you trying to go back to class.  And I weep for you, I weep for you, my friend I think of with fondness.

You are courageous.

You have endured so much.  So, very much.

And when the police came, how terrifying that must have felt.

Like a nightmare that not only didn’t end, but brought everyone you knew into it.

And then the shame and condemnation already thrust upon you, before you even spoke.  People who are supposed to be trustworthy, representing places and resources and options that are supposed to be trustworthy.  To hear from them that you did things wrong, that you did things bad, and that giving birth in a bathroom stall during school hours is a criminal act.

I want to tell you, and I want all teen girls to hear me.

Even if the thought of elective abortion had crossed your mind – or, even if you had decided on and had acted on elective abortion – you are still worthy of love.

Even if laws regarding the right of life in utero are involved in your story, even if medical involvement ensuring your obstetrical and physical health are involved in your story, those are aspects (aspects that likely feel huge, but they are only aspects) and are not – are never – the whole story.

You matter.  You count.

And to the students of the school, if you felt that the police presence was a really big deal – may you know, that giving birth to a baby not alive really is a big deal.  Your fellow student matters.  She has endured more than you know, and she is in need of and worthy of honor, validation and love.

I can promise you, that many of your teachers, faculty, or friends’ parents have likely experienced pregnancy and infant loss.  Your own mother might have.


It Is Time

We need to talk about it.  Politics and agendas and propaganda aside.  We need to talk about the realities, the needs of those impacted by pregnancy and infant loss.

I challenge you to open the conversation.  Ask the women of all ages in your life.

“Have you ever, or do you know of anyone, who has been impacted by pregnancy and infant loss?”


Statistics: A Closer Look

Between miscarriage of all its names, elective abortion, stillbirth and neonatal death, for every baby who reaches two months old past birth, there is another who is not alive.  Literally, the statistics are 1:2 in the United States.

So if you have not personally been impacted by pregnancy and infant loss, you are an arms length away from at least one person in your own life, who has.

Do you know who they are?

It is time we ask, and listen.


original photo source unknown

Additional Resources:

  • We have a library of stories shared by teen mothers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss
  • You can share your story
  • We have resources for loved ones
  • We have a training for individuals to work on campuses to serve students
  • We have guidance and support for all pregnancy and birth situations
  • You can enter in search words in your search engine for local support


Show Love
Share Your Story Share Your Story Become a Doula before during after


  1. Thank you, Heidi


Domestic Violence increases in pregnancy, leading to infant & maternal death.     [Path to Safety]      [Learn More]      [Quickly Exit to a Weather Channel]