Maria was 20 when she learned that she was pregnant, and she decided to have an abortion. "I started to question myself, because I knew it was going to change everything," she says.
"How did you feel when you came to that decision that you were going to have an abortion?" Dr. Masterson asks.
"I thought it was right for me. I thought about everything: if I had [the baby], it was more than the cute little clothes and the little baby shoes. I was still young, going out with my friends. I thought it was the best for me," she explains, adding that she has no regrets.
[AD]"What are your thoughts on abortion?" Dr. Masterson asks Brittney.
"I'm kind of against abortion, and I've talked to a lot of moms whom I know have gotten abortions. One says it's one of the biggest regrets of her life," she says.
"What about your teenage life? You know that that would change if you had a baby," Dr. Masterson says to Brittney.
"I think I would handle it pretty well," Brittney says.
Ashley, who got pregnant at 16, chose to place her baby for adoption. "It was the best thing that I think I will ever do in my entire life," she says. "There are always the what-ifs. I looked at the pros. I looked at the cons, and in the end, it just so happened that there were more check marks on the adoption list." With tears in her eyes, she continues, "For me, it was like I am blessing this family with something they can't give themselves, not because I don't want the child, and not because I didn't love him, but because I knew that I wanted to provide him with something that I couldn't give him. I just knew that there was no way that I could parent him and support him. I just knew that it was something that I wasn't able to do, that I couldn't do at 16 years old."
[AD]"You really did a very beautiful thing," Dr. Masterson says. "To go through delivery and then to separate from that baby " as a mother, that has got to be a difficult thing."
"When people say, â€˜Oh, you gave your baby up for adoption,' I did not give him up. I made a plan for him," Ashley says.
Another young woman, also named Ashley, learned that she was pregnant the summer before her senior year of high school, when she was 17, and she chose to raise her baby. "I chose to keep her because this is what I felt like I had to do, because it was something that I wanted to do. I had made the decision to have sex. I had made the decision to put myself in the position to get pregnant," she says. "I made six different appointments to terminate my pregnancy, and I couldn't do it."
"Is the reality different from what you thought it would be?" Dr. Masterson asks.
Ashley nods. "I thought that her biological father and I were going to be together and raise this baby as a couple, and he said that he would always be there for us and that he was never going to leave us. He walked away, and in the end, I'm all that she has," she shares.
[AD]"Would you say that your mom or your parents raised your kid when you were finishing out high school?" Brittney asks Ashley.
"I finished high school before I delivered her," she says. "My parents do not raise her."
"What do you do financially? Are you on WIC?" Brittney asks, referring to the Women, Infants and Children program for low-income women.
"I have applied for it," Ashley says. "I currently am working two jobs and going to school full-time. It is very, very difficult. There are times that I have an extra $5 but rather than going out and buying a magazine or something, it's either put away into savings, or it goes toward a Happy Meal."
[AD]Ashley offers Brittney advice. "Whatever decision you make, make sure it's what you want, not what everybody else wants. What you want," she says.
"You have to feel good about it," Dr. Masterson reiterates.