Originally created 04/02/02

Advice line



THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM I just found out I'm pregnant. Should I tell my parents or just get rid of the baby? - 18-year-old Wrens girl

Here's what you had to say:

- Yes, you should tell your parents. You have a situation that's difficult now, but your parents love you.

- I think you should tell your parents and let them help you out.

- You should tell your parents. You have to be upfront with them ... I would have the baby, then if you can't afford to take care of the baby, I would give it up for adoption.

- I think you should do what's best for you and make your own decision.

- I think you should tell your mother, and if you want to keep the baby, keep the baby.

- If you can't get support from your parents or other people, then consider adoption.

- Tell them. I guarantee they'll be less disappointed and angry if you tell them that you're pregnant than if you told them you were pregnant and got rid of the baby without ever letting them know.

- I'm 17, and I have a child. Telling my parents was the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was also the best thing I've ever done, because I love my child more than anything else in the world.

Xtreme reporter Alisa DeMao says: Counselors at both Planned Parenthood and the Care Pregnancy Center of Augusta said they would advise and encourage you to tell your parents. Having the support of a family member is the smart thing to do in this situation, no matter what you decide to do.

"Once parents know, they're not as upset as girls think they're going to be - usually they're imagining the worst," said Susan Swanson, director of the Care Pregnancy Center of Augusta.

Added Mary Beth Pierucci of Planned Parenthood: "Parents' reactions are not what you think they're going to be. People think the reaction will be worse than it actually is."

You are old enough that you don't need your parents' knowledge or consent for whatever option you take with your pregnancy. But their help and support could make any decision - and its consequences - easier. Both Planned Parenthood and the Care Pregnancy Center have counselors who will accompany you if you want someone with you when you talk to your parents. Or you can ask a trusted friend or someone like a pastor to be there.

The Care Pregnancy Center's phone number is 724-3733, and Planned Parenthood's is 724-5557. Both offer counseling.

NEXT WEEK'S PROBLEM

My best friend has been going out with her boyfriend for more than four years. But sometimes when she's not around, he messes with me and other girls. I tried to tell her, but she says "You're supposed to be my best friend. Why would you say something like that?" She gets mad at me, and when she asks him, he says "You don't need to be her friend. Why would she say something like that?" What should I do?

Do you have any advice for this 15-year-old Augusta girl? Call the Advice Line at 442-4444 and press 8614. You'll have one minute to answer.

Got a problem? Call 442-4444 and press 8613. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please speak clearly and state your age and the town you live in.

You can also e-mail your problems to ademao@augustachronicle.com. Put "Advice Line" in the subject line. All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential. Questions may be condensed for space.