As the Academy Awards draws near, the movie Precious is receiving plenty of buzz. Based on a novel written by Saphire, it tells a sordid tale of a 16 year old teen that is pregnant for the second time by her absent father. Unfortunately the story of Precious is not confined to a novel or a silver screen.

I met my first “Precious” at the age of fifteen, in a housing project in the Bronx. My life was ruined when my family was uprooted from Brooklyn in order to be closer to my uncle’s job. We were greeted with suspicion,ridiculed by our neighbors and not exactly given a “welcome mat.”  I was grateful when I discovered there was a girl who was my age living on the second floor. However, we were not exactly peers. She had recently brought home a newborn that looked exactly like her middle-aged stepfather. The uncanny resemblance of the newborn to his grandmother’s husband made me want to cry.  I looked at the teen’s mother (who appeared embarrassed) and silently screamed “Why didn’t you protect her? “

President Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia is 11 years old, and to fathom her being pregnant and requiring a C. Section would be totally absurd. Yet this is exactly what happened to an 11 year old child in Texas.   (See Man Accused of Fathering a Child With an 11 Year Old) The girl had allegedly been sexually assaulted by her stepfather since the age of six and was now living in protective custody. The stepfather was mandated by the court to supply a DNA sample that confirmed he is the biological father of the child.  You can’t tell me that this child was abused for five years and her mother knew nothing about it. And had she not become pregnant, her alleged abuse would probably have continued.  Thank God I wasn’t the obstetrician who had to bring her into the operating room to perform a C. Section, because I’d probably need therapy for life.

As a society, we’ve failed this child miserably.  I’m sick of women who feign denial and ignorance regarding atrocities committed against their children. Please take off your blinders and have the courage to protect your children.