As Britain continues to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe, two fourteen year olds become Britain’s youngest parents. The young girl found out of her pregnancy a day before her fourteenth birthday.
The baby, who is now four weeks old, is now in the middle of custody arrangements between his young parents. And like most teenage pregnancies in the UK, the baby was unplanned and the result of the ‘teen romances’ which are so common in schools up and down the country. A total of 41,325 women under 18 fell pregnant in 2008, Of these young women 49% have abortions, and the rest are kept or given up for adoption. (Office for national statistics)
While it seems that this current record being set by teenagers, is another stark reminder of the spiral of problems that seem insurmountable in a society which fails to deal with the consequences of casual sexual relationships, considered normal even amongst the very young. Such an atmosphere continues to perpetuate a culture of having to find ‘patchwork’ solutions to such behaviour. In this case, teenagers will be raising children in a broken home even before a stable family unit can be created, and so the cycle of single mothers continues. The other ‘solution’ as explained in the statistics, is to abort any unwanted pregnancies, a solution readily available.
As Irish society is torn between the inevitable changing of law regarding its stance on abortion, as the European Court of Human rights has ruled that Ireland must revisit its abortion laws after a case was brought forth by an Irish citizen who sought an abortion but could not get one unless she travelled to the UK. Although her particular case was considered as it had medical implications for her health, it has opened up the debate for women having the right to a termination no matter what the circumstances may be, including casual sexual relations.
Both examples demonstrate that such outcomes to a decadent set of liberal attitudes towards sex and relationships has led to unwanted pregnancies and terminations which are now commonplace. The Department of Health issued statistics in 2008 which showed that the abortion rate was highest for women age 19, at 36 per 1,000, the same as in 2007. Such choices and statistics cannot ever be regarded as progress.
The levels of such social irresponsibility and decay that has now become part and parcel of western society cannot be regarded as protecting and honouring the sanctity of family life. The notion of personal freedom which believes that marriage and stable relationships are not a prerequisite for sexual relations results in a culture where school kids are now sexually active resulting in unwanted pregnancies and a constant rise in sexual transmitted diseases. The social environments, whether at school, parties, or at work, that see no problem in the free-mixing of the sexes, with the highly sexualised culture that exists, will inevitably lead to such problems.
This includes growing generations who are born into families where they don’t know their fathers or worse; those babies whose life in the womb are cut off before the opportunity for future life is allowed at all. And all acceptable, in the name of ‘women’s rights’. Many would argue that Ireland needs to change its law to allow for abortions to be available and catch up with most other European countries. However the real question is whether such a culture and such policies can really be seen as anything other than regressive, and in fact make moral decay nothing more than a lifestyle choice.
Under the Islamic system the protection of the family unit is integral to the harmony of wider society. Ibn Mas’ud narrated that He (saw) said,
“Oh youngster, whoever amongst you can afford to marry, should marry because it will help him more to lower his gaze and guard his modesty (from unlawful sex). And whoever cannot marry should fast “
Such evidences give us a clear framework that having a society and systems which promote chastity and marriage, will allow for a society to support its citizens to safeguard their desires while not suppressing them, and will not agitate them by promoting a culture where sex is a lifestyle choice, and a tool in the hand of marketeers to sell all and sundry, resulting in an inevitable breakdown of morality. And although all societies face problems regarding regulating relationships between men and women and the results of that, the Islamic society will not face the phenomena of underage pregnancies and abortions which are crippling the social fabric of western cultures. The promiscuous, partying boyfriend/girlfriend culture would be considered signs of regression, and not social norms to be aspired to.
Not having a defined social system which western cultures do not, create a plethora of problems. The Islamic social system is a fundamental element of society. In it, a child not only has the right to life, but also two parents in the stability of married life in order for society to create an atmosphere of tranquillity. It regards marriage to be the only institution where conjugal relations in a loving, responsible atmosphere can exist. The impact of this in wider society is instant, as the values of decency, value for human life and family life are a must which will create secure environments for society to proceed.