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Sent on Mormon-News: 20Aug01

By Rosemary Pollock

LDS Mother Works to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

WILEY, COLORADO -- In an effort to pinpoint the pitfalls and point out the monetary and human resources that are available to teenage mothers, Violet Lane of Wiley, Colorado, has gone hundreds of miles out of her way to help others avoid the perils of teenage pregnancy. Lane, who became a mother when she was a 16-year-old high school sophomore, now opposes premarital sex and relies on the beliefs and ideals of her Mormon faith.

"I think the main reason for teen-age pregnancies is a lack of family involvement," she said. Growing up, Violet's family was always on welfare except for three brief years. "And it wasn't a comfortable existence she said. While far from ideal, Lane's childhood wasn't horrible. She was the youngest of three girls and a year old when her father abandoned the family. Eight years later, Lane's mother was stricken with lymphoma and at the age of 14, her grandmother was murdered by a transient. Wrung out emotionally, Lane left public school for home schooling.

Sex was an open subject in her home and Lane was aware of birth control, but discipline in the home was inconsistent. Once when Lane stayed out until 4 a.m. she was angrily grounded by her mother and then allowed to attend a dance a few hours later. She and Braden, her then boyfriend and now husband, had too much freedom and were often unsupervised.

"They would let him come and stay the weekend at my house. Then, my mother would let us go to my sister's house. "What kind of discipline were we going to get there?" Lane asked. When her older sister got pregnant at 15, Lane didn't think the same thing could happen to her, but by the age of 16, Lane was a teenage mother.

"I didn't want to raise my kids on welfare. I didn't think it was anybody else's responsibility to raise my kids," she said. Lane lived through more ups and down with her baby's father before marrying him and having two more children. During this time, he had a child with another woman and Lane was faced with making her family a "yours and ours" type.

Today, Violet and Braden Lane devote themselves to their four children, their faith and their jobs. Violet helps run a Wiley trucking firm and her husband works for the Colorado Department of Transportation. They live on his parent's ranch near Wiley, where they are building up a herd of cattle.

Lane doesn't hold herself out as a symbol of success as a teenage mother. She said it wasn't easy to achieve what she has, but thinks children deserve a more solid start then being raised by teen-age parents. "If they are given enough information, they are able to keep from getting pregnant and protect themselves from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases," she said.

Abortion was not an option for Lane and she was determined not to live on welfare. Lane is realistic about the sex laden culture we live in and the fact that many teens lack the strong connections with adults and church associations that would influence them to choose abstinence before marriage.


Wiley mom travels far to relate her experience
Pueblo CO Chieftain 7Aug01 P2
By Karen Vigil: The Pueblo Chieftain


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