Secondary School and Unexpected Babies

I was at secondary school as Midnight Oil, Culture Club and INXS ruled the top 40 charts. Back then, like in ever other era, occasionally a student became pregnant. The coping strategy for this life event was hiding in an oversized uniform until the bump could no longer be disguised. Upon discovery, the girl had one simple choice; to drop out of school and fade into oblivion. The remaining students usually then labelled her a ‘tart’, gossiped about her lack of future prospects and claimed she got what she deserved for not keeping her legs crossed. The teaching staff, relieved to be rid of their problem student, would hold a moral high-ground, rarely mentioning the student again. The rare use of her name would only have been while on their highly respectable, religious soap boxes, to issue other potential sluts with a cautionary tale. Apparently, those who lived puritanically righteous lives had the world at their feet. Meanwhile the girl had to hope for the support of her family, or potentially the father of her unborn child before she could later access a single parent’s pension.

 

By the end of the freeloving hippie revolution, as Australian soldiers were conscripted into the Vietnam war and at the time the contraceptive pill first became available, quite different approach to the issue of teen pregnancy. According to government figures, Seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty adoptions took place in Australia.

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