My friend just turned 14 and she and her way older boyfriend who is in high school want to have a baby. I’m so worried but I don’t know what to do! I don’t want to get her in trouble, but I want her to understand the dangers involved. What should I do?!

Two bored teenage girls sitting on benchYour friend is lucky to have someone like you to be so concerned about her and her well-being. You are right to be worried because there are several reasons why getting pregnant at 14 is a really bad idea. First of all, starting a family is a huge decision. Your friend and her boyfriend will need to figure out how they can support a child and themselves which is really tough. Your friend’s parents might help but legally they don’t have to.  Also, considering your friend’s age, her pregnancy would be labeled “high risk” because there are many health concerns for both mom and baby.

Then there is the legal side to having a sex under the age of 16 because in many states, it is considered “Statutory Rape”. This means your friend’s boyfriend could end up going to jail, if your friend’s parents or guardians decide to press charges. This is a very complicated situation. It’s true that you run the risk of losing your friendship if you speak up and tell your friend that you don’t approve of her decision to become pregnant. However, since you are a good friend, and you recognize that this is a disaster waiting to happen, it’s important for you to talk with her so she can understand the consequences of her behavior. If she doesn’t see how getting pregnant could change her life in many negative ways, you’ll then need to think about discussing the situation with your parent(s), guardian(s) or another trusted adult for advice. Whatever decisions your friend makes, you have shown that you are a very caring person who wants the best for her. In the end you may find out that the hardest part about dealing with this type of situation is knowing you have little control over the choices that your friends make. Good luck and take care.