Dear Abby: 16 years old, pregnant, and wondering what to do

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DEAR ABBY: I have had a very strained relationship with my father for many years. My mother and I are not close because she was incarcerated for most of my life until recently. I am 16 now, and just found out I’m pregnant. No one knows except the father of my child. For some reason, he is thrilled for us. I, on the other hand, am terrified of the uncertainties.I know what my father will say. He will want me to get an abortion, but I would never choose that for myself or for my baby. My mother is struggling since she was released from prison and is still trying to get on her feet. I live with my grandparents, who don’t have the means to support a child. It seems like my only option is to move in with my boyfriend and his family while I finish school and then get a job. Please give me an unbiased perspective. — UNCERTAIN IN THE SOUTHDEAR UNCERTAIN: You appear to be an intelligent young woman, so I will give it to you straight. Although you think you know what your father will say, you can’t know for sure until you talk to him and tell him what’s going on. I’m advising you to do that because you may need his help. A loving father will give it to you. If you decide to have this baby, he can’t force you to get an abortion. You and your baby’s father should also talk to his parents, so that, IF NECESSARY, you will be able to stay with them. You must also be sure to have the best prenatal care possible, so your child will be born healthy. Planned Parenthood has clinics where this care is offered, and you should contact it as soon as possible. If you check its website,, you will also find information about adoption. You must also make earning your high school diploma a priority, so you will be able to support and educate the child you’re bringing into the world, if you decide to raise him or her yourself.DEAR ABBY: I physically assaulted a male friend (Aiden) who I was — and still am — interested in. I’m a survivor of domestic violence and have a troubled past. I have sworn not to touch alcohol, and shared with him some of the horror stories regarding what happens when I drink. A few weeks ago, I hosted a mutual friend’s birthday party at my house. Long story short, Aiden suggested I take a shot. I was unwilling at first, but finally agreed to a birthday toast. After that toast, things are blurry for me. According to other friends at the party, I went crazy. I want so bad to tell Aiden that I know what I did was unacceptable, but I know he may never see or speak to me again. As someone who has lived through being abused, I know this is a very difficult thing to ever forgive. How can I even look him in the eye if he ever speaks to me again? — SORRY BEYOND WORDSDEAR SORRY: Recognizing the part that Aiden played in what happened might help. You described your past and warned him about what happens when you have a drink. Knowing that, he NEVER should have suggested you have an alcoholic beverage to make the birthday toast. If your paths cross, stand up straight and say you’re sorry. But frankly, he owes you an apology, too.Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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