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Parenting & Family
Not Mary Not Roe: The Survival Story of a Reluctant Teen Mom
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Not Mary Not Roe: The Survival Story of a Reluctant Teen Mom

Leslie Hope Holthoff

Ignorance is not bliss. It sets girls up for failure.

The good news is, in America, teen pregnancy has steadily declined since the early nineties. The bad news is there are still girls raising children, and fifty percent of them won’t graduate from high school.

Leslie Hope Holthoff was a scared little girl, overwhelmed by shame and self-hatred, whose tools for understanding sex and knowing how to stop itsimply didn’t exist. By the time she was staring at two pink lines on a pregnancy test when she was just fifteen, her life already felt like it belonged to someone else.

Not Mary Not Roe is Holthoff’s stereotype-shattering story that explores the nuances of social mores, family upbringing, and religion that can become unwitting contributors to teen pregnancy. Her narrative begs the question: If we don’t teach young people about sex, how can we force them to bear the consequences?

Holthoff’s raw, unfiltered account of navigating young romance, teen parenthood, family relationships, school, work, marriage, and divorce is an eye-opening call for society to help without judgment the children who have children —and protect their right not to.

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