Are you sitting down? Because I have some shocking news. I know this comes out of the blue, so steel yourself:
Bristol and Levi are not getting married.
I know! I was sure those two crazy kids were going to beat the odds and make it work. But alas, Levi Johnston tells the Associated Press that he and Bristol Palin have called off their engagement and broken up. So not only is Bristol a teen mom, she’s a single mom as well.
Which puts her right there along with eleven out of twelve teens who have babies. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, “at the time of their child’s birth, almost 1/3 of unmarried teen mothers are ‘certain’ that they will marry the biological father of their child. Another 25% say their chances of marrying are ‘good.'” But in reality, “not even 8% of unwed teen mothers are married to the baby’s father within the year.”
Bristol has a good chance of being okay without Levi, since she’s in a family with the means and desire to support her. But most teen mothers aren’t so lucky. On average, unmarried teen mothers have lower educational attainment and lower incomes than married mothers or women who are older when they have their first baby. And their babies face hurdles as well, with a greater chance of being in poverty, engaging in early sexual activity, and becoming teen parents themselves.
I sincerely wish Bristol good luck. As she’s already finding, this isn’t going to be easy. I just hope that if she’s serious about being an advocate against teen pregnancy, she’ll talk a little less about what to do once you’re already a teen mother and a lot more about how to avoid getting pregnant in the first place.
Also? This dude could use some of that “how to avoid pregnancy” advice.