When researching pregnancy, especially in ‘developed’ countries, one of the main concerns that comes up is unwanted/unplanned teen pregnancy and the resulting poverty that often occurs. Often the young woman ends up raising the child herself, is from a lower income , does not have post secondary education nor the funds available to pursue, which could limit her future earning potential. Thus, she and her unborn child are vulnerable on several fronts.
There are young women in North America who romanticize the idea of having a baby, on their own or with their teen boyfriend, some seeing it as a ‘badge of honor’ or ‘a way out’. It is unfortunate that some believe life will be different for them and their baby, they will not repeat the past/be ‘like their parents’. This is often an example of one trying to repair the past/correct mistakes their parents made, and thus heal themselves. This is naive and also very selfish. Some young women know they will receive government funding when they have a child but they lack the foresight needed to truly understand the struggles they will face and the constant need for money when the child arrives. Also, the constant and consistent loving care a child needs will constrict their mobility greatly. One needs to be stable on many fronts: emotionally, mentally, physically and financially to raise a healthy child. Please note, I am not suggesting a person in need not receive any government assistance, that would also be irresponsible. One should provide all the necessities of life for ones child. I received government subsidized daycare, when I worked outside the home, and as a Canadian citizen I received a monthly ‘baby bonus’ for my 2 children for many years. It was extremely helpful.
In a society where LIG (Living Income Guaranteed) is implemented, there will be a huge decline in the number of unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies. Subsequently, there will be a huge decline in teen poverty, domestic violence, suicide, mental illness. One of the reasons young women get pregnant is too leave their current dometic situation/family unit where they could have been emotionally, physically abused. They do not have the financial means to live independently so they see starting their own family as a way, a fresh start. No blame here, just stating some facts of how things currently exist.
Within a LIG system the implications for a society are huge. Just to focus on pregnancy for now, from a starting point of financial stability, one will be able to breathe, let go of the constant energetic reaction of fear within the struggle for survival, ‘Where is our next meal coming from? How will I pay rent next month?’, working long hours for minimum wage but never being able to afford a vacation with your child or buy him quality clothes or go consistently to the dentist, it goes on and on.
Within LIG women, young women will have a real alternative to dependency on their parents/boyfriend/husband. This will reduce unwanted pregnancy in all woman of child bearing years. A LIG society will also reduce the number of abortions of all women because if one has stable income the point of building a family unit for stability and survival will be eliminated. A woman will have a real ‘choice’ to decide how they want to express themselves and contribute to their world, no longer constricted by the social situation they were born into, geography, they will indeed have all the various opportunities for a decent future that money buys.
Some of these opportunities include: education, transportation, adequate rest/sleep because one needs to work and look after children or go to school, less stress which will reduce physical and mental illnesses ie. substance addictions, being able to afford a break/vacation for rest and enjoyment so life is not just about ‘getting through it’. If they are in a current relationship they do not have to remain, they will have the means=the money to leave an unsatisfactory situation and start new life in which they can afford to house, cloth, feed, educate their children without having to compromise or prostitute themselves.
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