I’m having a baby at 18, get over it

Caitlin Bartlett, 18, is upset after being told she was “unworthy” of being pregnant because she is young — she says a lot of people on the Border have judged her. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Caitlin Bartlett, 18, is upset after being told she was “unworthy” of being pregnant because she is young — she says a lot of people on the Border have judged her. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

BORDER residents have a problem with teen pregnancy, says an expectant mother.

Wodonga fast food worker Caitlin Bartlett, 18, says she was confronted by a customer on Friday morning and told she was “unworthy” of being pregnant.

She was also told it was “disgusting” she had fallen pregnant and was stared at during the encounter, which was witnessed by other employees.

“It’s a decision that I made and I’m happy with it,” Ms Bartlett said.

“I think I’ll be a good mother and my mother is supporting me.

“It’s very exciting and it was a big decision, but I’m happy.”

Ms Bartlett, who is being supported by partner Dalton McIntosh, said people had treated her differently as the pregnancy became noticeable.

“A lot of people do judge,” she said.

“When I go down the street I get a lot of people staring.

“It’s probably because I look so young and a lot of people would not agree with it.”

The Border has higher- than-average teenage pregnancy rates.

The Border Mail last year reported 80 women aged 19 or under had given birth at Wodonga Hospital in 2012, and that Albury Wodonga’s teenage birth rate was 2 per cent higher than state average in 2010.

Ms Bartlett works two part-time jobs and is studying to be a nurse, but said people still considered her to be “disgusting” and a “piece of dirt”.

“It’s making (my partner) very angry,” she said.

“With all the abortion stuff on TV you get judged if you go over there and you get judged if you don’t.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about one in five pregnant mothers felt they had been discriminated against in the workplace.

Ms Bartlett is due to give birth in September.

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