Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Columns

April 22, 2012

Becoming a parent too soon

At 15, Donna Henry had just been named the Pioneer Days queen, and for the first time in her life, she was one of the popular kids in school.

She was an honor student, and she hoped one day to be a physical therapist.

And then she got pregnant. Her whole life changed overnight.

Unfortunately, such stories are common in Cass County, which has a teen birth rate that is out of control.

Experts say the national rate, which is 34 births for every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19, is higher than many Third World countries. The state rate is even higher at just above 37 births per 1,000 girls.

The county rate, though, blows those rates out of the water. The number of births per 1,000 teenage girls in Cass County now stands at 53.

The teenage pregnancy task force of an organization called Better Health for Cass County is hoping to cut that number dramatically. One way to start might be to have Henry share her story at schools throughout the county.

She shared it last week at a session that drew about 20 teenagers and adults to the Area Five children’s center.

Henry grew up in Royal Center in the 1960s and ’70s. Her parents never talked about sex, she said. They couldn’t even say the word out loud.

To her surprise, though, Henry’s parents, when she finally got up the nerve to talk to them about her dilemma, were supportive.

“My dad actually said, out loud, ‘Do you want to get an abortion?’” Henry recalled.

Henry said no. She planned to keep the baby.

Her dad asked if she and the child’s father planned to get married.

“Well, that was a given,” Henry recalled. “In 1975, that was a given.”

Pregnant girls in 1975 were not allowed to attend school. Henry had to take classes from home.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

  • KNISELY: Let the games continue I try to learn something every week. It used to be every day but that got tiring after a while. Well, this week I learned that everyone is a comedian. And by everyone, I mean everyone. I wrote last week about how my hatred of oranges turned into an

    April 13, 2014

  • PETERS: Vitamin D levels can be checked

    My mother lives with me and I'm involved in her medical care. She's a tough cookie. But like many 88-year-olds, she has several health problems. We visit her doctor at least once a month to report what's working and what isn't doing the trick. Recent

    April 13, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.