What was present in Miranda’s life that made it possible for her to not choose abortion?
--A supportive family. Particularly a mother who was there to accompany her, to advise but not pressure her, financial security for her and her child, and the belief that she could create a family with the father of her child.
--Understanding, considerate and respectful options presented by medical professionals, without pressure to make a particular decision either for or against abortion.
What could have been present in Miranda’s life that would have prevented her from having to make a choice at all regarding abortion?
--A sense of respect for and ownership of her own body. If Miranda had thought more about Miranda and less about being acceptable to an older male she would have been more likely to avoid the vulnerable position she got into.
--A better relationship with her own father. Miranda’s father was distant from his children and largely uninvolved in their lives, focusing most of his energies and attention on his career. Additionally, he was particularly critical of Miranda, more so than with her younger siblings. She grew up feeling that there was something inadequate about her that caused her father to not love her as much as the rest of the children in the family.
A girl learns about men first and most importantly from her father. He can help her be secure about her worth, or question it. I’ve repeatedly noticed that girls who have been abandoned by their fathers, either physically or emotionally, seem to always be searching for male approval. They are sitting ducks for seductive older males who want a compliant sex partner with weak personal boundaries.
--A long view rather than a short view regarding what is valuable and important to her. Miranda was not thinking long term when she began to recklessly hang out with friends who dabbled in drugs, ditched school, and engaged in petty crime.
--Parents who were able to take necessary steps to remove Miranda from associations and activities that put her in jeopardy.
--A school that effectively eliminated older non-students from school activities and proximity to the school, one that made sure parents knew when their children were not attending. Miranda’s parents learned later that her boyfriend had repeatedly called her high school, posing as her father, to excuse her for absences, days away from school which she had spent with him.
--Teachers and staff who were supportive of female students. Several incidents in Miranda’s first year at the big impersonal high school contributed to her sense of isolation, insecurity, lack of value, and low expectations for herself. A pivotal point came shortly after she had decided to stop her truant behavior and bring her grades up. After several weeks of improvement that she was proud of, she was called into the dean’s office because she had been accused of smoking in the girls lavatory. She had actually not been the smoker, but refused to accuse a friend, there at the same time, who was the smoker.
The dean, attempting either reverse physchology, or simply being inept, told Miranda at that point that she obviously did not care about her education, and he saw little reason for her to prepare for or expect more than a menial job in her future. This disregard for her improved grades and behavior and derision toward her as a person created devastating doubts in her mind about her abilities. It matched, in her thinking, her own father’s lack of interest, and the taunts she had received from snobbish classmates about her clothing and appearance. She decided to stop trying, to just get through high school and not aim for anything significant because she was probably incapable of more.
Taken together, the negative responses Miranda received to her best efforts made her particularly vulnerable to the advances of any male who provided the approval and admiration she lacked from other important sources.