Teen pregnancies can be catastrophic for young people. Not only are they expected to take on the burden of life’s most difficult responsibility (raising a human) they need to do it while they are still kids themselves. Many teen parents lean on parents or grandparents during the difficult situations. But not many teen moms have it as challenging as Pamela Villarruel from Argentina has. When she got pregnant at 14 year old, she decided to keep her boy. But not long after the child’s father abandoned her and the baby, she got pregnant by another man – this time with triplet girls. But her child birthing days were not over yet…
Because the triplet’s father was abusive, Villarruel’s family forced her to leave him. It was the safer choice for mom and the babies. Although she now had to take care of four babies by herself, she was better off without the batterer.
Then she met another man and got pregnant again. This pregnancy resulted in another set of triplet girls. Villarruel was overwhelmed. She would be delivered her fifth, sixth and seventh children. It was too much for a 17-year-old girl to handle.
She has been forced to live with her parents who are sustaining the growing family. Meanwhile, Villarruel does not have access to birth control. But she is interested.
Feeding seven children is hard. And now that she has to deal with three newborns again, she has no time for herself let alone time to work.
From her parents’ home in the small town of Leones in the Cordoba Province in northern Argentina, Villarruel is begging the government to help her out. She wants to have her tubes tied so she doesn’t get pregnant for a fourth time. She simply cannot handle the strain of raising this many children and wants to do the right thing and control the situation.
Villarruel’s mom is forced into a horrible situation herself. Since the teen cannot work, her mom Magdalena is forced to earn money to feed all the growing babies. To support the enormous family, Magdalena works long hours as a house cleaner. It is grueling work for an aging woman.
When Pamela got pregnant with the second set of triplets, Magdalena started a conversation about birth control. She didn’t want to see yet another man come and go from the teen’s life and leave her with more children to care for. Pamela thought it was a good idea and decided she wanted to get her tubes tied.
But they had no way to afford the expensive procedure. With nowhere else to turn, Magdalena asked the Argentinian government to pay for it. She figured that the procedure would cost a lot less in the long run than more state-funded babies.
Argentina’s government refused. Because Pamela is still a minor, they would not do such a life-changing procedure. What if – in the rare instance – Pamela did want to have children again.
Should Argentina allow Pamela to get her tubes tied?
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