An unnamed 13 year-old girl in Caldwell is about to become a young mother when she gives birth to her baby soon, making her yet another 13 year-old girl child to have a baby.
The facts surrounding her pregnancy are shaky. Her mother insists that she was impregnated by another teenager, while neighbors say, “she used to always hang at his (identity withheld) working place and when he moved in with their family, we started noticing her condition.”
Whatever the case, there have been cases here and there about young teenage mothers such as Sue, we will call her, and dozens, if not hundreds more who have gone unnoticed based on the fact that some are forced into marriage with their “statutory rapist,” or are taken to secret locations to abort the pregnancy.
And there are still young girls like Sue, who are quietly hiding in their bedrooms to have their babies in secret nine months later.
Some young teens are physically harmed because of the lack of medical attention surrounding their first three trimesters and labor; some even lose their lives.
Two things normally happen to these girls.
“Most often the parents don’t allow them to come for their monthly check ups that is very important, and because of this, when they go into labor, they don’t reach the hospital. And guess what will happen, especially if there is no doctor to see if this child will need to go under operation? At that age, their pelvic is too small to dilate, so we have to cut sometimes, but not always with the proper care,” Madam Marthaline of Redemption Hospital stated on this subject.
“Their bodies are not fully mature for such a physical task like delivering a baby; therefore they need constant monitoring during their first nine months. That will help the doctor to know her history and how best he can help make her deliver as safe as possible. That is why they are asked to go to a hospital from the beginning so their lives can be saved, and the babies’. Yes, there are fatalities, mother and child, if we avoid (going to the hospital),” she added.
Looking back at stories by this paper on sexual abuse, there are families our reporter has come across that have insisted, including this one from New Kru Town, near Redemption Hospital, “If the person who gets her pregnant has owned up to it, then he will take on the responsibility and we will talk it family way.”
Meanwhile, there is something very unsettling about this story.
Way before Sue was born, her half sister and cousin, who were four years-old at the time, were taken into police custody for questioning and a physical examination. One of them had been raped by Sue’s mother’s husband. One of the girls was taken away by government while Sue’s half sister, whom we once featured in the Daily Observer, was given to a relative.
Fallah was sentenced to life in prison in a plea bargain, after confessing to the charges. He claiming that he had been ‘drunk’ during a phone conversation with our reporter.
That was over 13 years ago.