"When I told my dad I was pregnant the first time and that I wanted to have an abortion,
he told me that it would never happen. He said that I needed to be punished.
He told me I would have the baby and that he would beat me for the next 7 days.
For 7 days, he beat me with his belt. After I moved out, he used to come by my house
and yell at me 'to get ready' as he took out his belt so he could 'punish' me more."
- 17 year old mother of 3 year old with a second pregnancy
"The last time (my father) hit me was when the phone rang at midnight (a few months
ago). He thought it was one of my friends. I was in my bed, and he started to hit me
with the phone until it tore out of the wall. But I didn't have to go to the hospital that time,
so it wasn't reported."
- 16 year old who reported that when she discovered she was pregnant she decided
not to return to her home, school, or job for fear her father would find her and beat her
for the pregnancy.
"My older sister got pregnant when she was 17. I was in the kitchen when she told my mother.
My mother pushed her against the wall, slapped her across the face, and then grabbed her by
the hair, pulled her through the living room out the front door and threw her off the porch. I don't
know where my sister is now. I'm considered the good daughter. But I know what my mother is
- 16 year old living with a single mother
"My father has beaten me. He put me in a convent for 6 months for smoking. My cousin was sent away from her family when she got pregnant because she wasn't married. Can you imagine what my father would do to me for this? He's also threatened to hurt my boyfriend."- 17 year old
"I'm living with my stepmother. My father died last year. My mother is in China and does not speak English. I have no other relatives here. My stepmother looks for reasons for me to leave her house and this would be it. I just have a few more months before I graduate from high school."- 16 year-old immigrant with a full college scholarship
"My mother's boyfriend used to hit her and sometimes I would try to stop him, but then he'd start hitting me. I left home to live with my boyfriend when I found out that I was pregnant the first time. My mother wouldn't let me have an abortion, so I knew a baby would be safer living away from her and her boyfriend. But my boyfriend started hitting me as soon as I moved in. So, I got my own place, a car, and two jobs. I'm pregnant again, but I can't tell my mom because she would try to stop me from getting an abortion. My father is deceased."- 17 year-old high school graduate and mother of a 2 year-old daughter
"My older sister got pregnant when she was 17. I was in the kitchen when she told my mother. My mother pushed her against the wall, slapped her across the face, and then grabbed her by the hair, pulled her through the living room out the front door and threw her off the porch. I don't know where my sister is now. I'm considered the good daughter. But I know what my mother is capable of."- 16 year old living with her single mother
"Well... once my mother hit me in the face with a frying pan. Does that count?"- 17 year old's response regarding how her mother has responded in the past when the teen came to her with a problem.
"My mother has my brother beat me (when I need to be punished). For this (pregnancy), she will send me away (back to Nigeria) after he beats me."- 17 year-old immigrant
"She can't report anything to the police about what her step-father does to the family. He works for the department. And this is a very small town. The family seems to live in fear of him."- Boyfriend of pregnant 15 year old
"Look, I don't know what you people can actually do for her, but someone has got to convince her that she can get this abortion without her parents knowing."- best friend of a pregnant 16 year old who paid the friend's boyfriend to punch her in the stomach to cause a miscarriage
"The last time (my father) hit me was when the phone rang at midnight (a few months ago). He thought it was one of my friends. I was in my bed, and he started to hit me with the phone until it tore out of the wall. But I didn't have to go to the hospital that time, so it wasn't reported."- 16 year old who reported that when she discovered she was pregnant she decided not to return to her home, school, or job for fear her father would find her and beat her for the pregnancy. She refused to say where she was living for fear her father would hurt the people who took her in.
"My mother has never left my father. She knows about (domestic violence) shelters, but she thinks she can wait until all of us kids are grown. I'm the eldest. I keep hoping that before I graduate from high school I can convince her that we are strong enough to leave my father."- 17 year-old immigrant who fears that if her mother is notified by the clinic about her pregnancy, her mother will tell her father who will then beat her mother.
"I didn't know what my parents thought about abortion or anything like that until a few weeks ago. My parents invited my aunt and uncle over for dinner. I sat at the kitchen table and listened to my father tell my uncle that it was the best thing for everyone that my uncle kicked my cousin out of the house for being pregnant. No one disagreed with him. My cousin is 16. I have no idea where she is living or if she is going to school. My father said, 'Well, at least she's not getting an abortion.'"- 15 year old
"She ran away from her foster home and was gone for 8 weeks. Now she's in an emergency shelter and is pregnant. Her mother is deceased. Her father raped her when she was 8 years old and is still in prison for it. I knew her when she had to testify against him. I don't know if I can convince her to go back to court, but she definitely wants an abortion."- Social worker of a 13 year old
"Telling my father is out of the question. He kidnapped my sister and me a few years ago and hid us from everyone. My mothers does not want him back in our lives and he would think (my being pregnant) would be a good reason to."- 16 year old
"My parents are ill. My mother has AIDS and my father is dying of cancer. There are three other kids to support. I take care of them all."- 17 year-old high school senior with two jobs. During the hearing, the guardian ad litem broke down and cried while recommending that the judicial bypass be granted.
"Yeah, they (child protective services) know our family really well. They've never done anything to help."- 16 year old living with a physically abusive father
"No! NO! I cannot tell them. Absolutely not. I will not go through what my sister did. My father just started speaking to her again after throwing her out 4 years ago. My nephew lost four years of not knowing me or my parents."- 16 year old describing how her father forced her then-teenaged older sister to continue her unwanted pregnancy, to quit high school and then threw her out of their home after the baby was born.
"I need as much information as I can get. She is really upset about this. She thought her parents would have to give their permission for her to have the abortion. She's been talking about going to Mexico to find a doctor there."- cousin of 17 year old
"When my older sister got pregnant in high school, my parents sent her to live with a cousin. After the baby was born, my parents decided that she would give it up for adoption. She told me that they forced her to do it. She really has a hard time with it, always wondering what happened to her baby. I am not having my parents decide for me."- 17 year old seeking emancipation
"I've tried calling the police. Every time they just rip that phone out of my hand, and I don't have a chance."- 16 year old whose parents are deceased and she is living with her grandparents who serve as her legal guardians. Her mother left home when she was a pregnant 16 year old because of the ongoing violence.
"Yes, my mother has told me more than once that if I get pregnant, she will beat that baby out of me. I believe her!"- 17 year old who chose to have her father notified instead of her mother