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Home > Culture and Society

The disheartening case of Melissa Smith and her 15-year-old womb

19 November 2004

Kids today eh? There was a time, if a 15-year-old fell pregnant, the foetus would be scraped out faster than she could say Petronella Wyatt, and she'd be confined to a mental home for the rest of her natural life. It wasn't ideal, but at least there were no mixed messages.

Underage sex was illegal. And immoral. And just plain wrong. Now - at least if there's a baby involved, as opposed to just another chemically-terminated foetus, and so long as neither parent has moved over into the dark side of adulthood - it's little more than something for us to coo over whilst we marvel at the ever-increasing population figures.

Melissa Smith is 15. At 14 she became something of a child star when she had an abortion without telling her mum. Now she's back in the papers, smiling away and pleased as punch. She's pregnant again. But this time she's clinging on to the wee mite for dear life. And it's not like she's the town bike or anything, because the father of the child is the same as it was the last time, her childhood sweetheart, Dwain Smith, also 15 (no relation - hopefully). Dwain is also made up. He can't wait to be a dad. Obviously.

Melissa's mother, Maureen, is 'thrilled' to have the opportunity to stand by and support her babymother baby. This after having been 'furious' at being left out of the last one. 'This time she told me first,' said the 38-year-old health-worker. 'Things were done properly. I believe she's pregnant again because she's reacting to what happened before.' Pfft. Some health-worker. It's much more likely something to do with Dwain unleashing his adolescent love-seed into Melissa's twinkle.

Despite putting on a brave face, it seems that Maureen would really rather her daughter did not have such an insatiable desire for parenthood. But she has this overriding 'what can I do?' attitude. 'Other than strap her to her bedroom or follow her around with a camera 24 hours a day,' she said, 'I don't see what else I could do as a parent.' But surely a truly caring parent might think, 'if those are my only choices, then so be it. If that's what it takes to keep the precocious little scrubber's knickerbacon wrapped up till she's old enough to know who she is, then that's what I'll do.'

Then maybe while she was filming her daughter strapped to her bed, she could read to her, a few choice novels that might open her mind a little, maybe make her realise that there's more to life than raising bastard chav sprogs on hellhole housing estates. She could have a word about patience while she was about it. And contraception. Even try her with True Love Waits. And if the terrifying prospect of breaking our country's sacrosanct Age of Consent laws failed to move her, she could maybe think about buying her a puppy.

The police had a little chat with Melissa and Dwain after the abortion, in which they mentioned in passing that sex before the age of 16 is a crime. Which is probably as absurd a case of locking the nursery door after the children have rutted as you are likely to find for quite some time. But if Melissa and Dwain have taught us anything - and they most certainly haven't - it is that Britain's Age of Consent laws are a waste of space. Whatever we say or do, kids are going to fuck each other. They always did and they always will. Having a law that criminalizes them for obeying their instincts is childish. Ignoring that law whenever it is broken is even sillier. So, here's what we do. We reduce the age of consent to 14 and sterilise everyone at birth.

Easy peasy. All problems solved.

And Counting: http://www.populationworld.com

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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