Incheon, like many other dioceses, has a home for unmarried mothers. The sister in charge of the home told the Peace Weekly, in a recent interview, that over half of the 20 soon-to-be-mothers are in their teens. In their early pregnancy, they had been told by many that if they have an abortion, all will return to normal, a clear example of the cruelty and coolness of society toward unmarried mothers. There is nobody to rejoice with them, she said, on becoming mothers.
These young mothers, at great cost to themselves, have chosen to be mothers, leaving behind all other concerns. One mother, brushing tears from her eyes, said her mother wanted her to abort, but remembering her first year in high school when she saw a video of an abortion, she decided she didn't want anything to do with that. She is very happy with her decision.
Sister says that their work at the home is to help the girls with healing and reconciliation so they will be able to greet the baby with joy in their hearts. Before coming to the home these girls had to deal with conflict, pain, and many emotional scars, which the sister hopes, with much counseling, to heal.
The home has received permission to serve as an alternative school, and there are mothers who are taking the middle and high school courses; two mothers even took the college entrance exams and are waiting for the results.
The sister mentions how depressed these girls were on coming to the home. Many had a sense of guilt, fear, embarrassment, anxiety, and a concern for the future. The sisters at the home work to change these thoughts.
The sister mentions that when they see the tears of these mothers, they feel both sorrow and pride, knowing that they have helped make a difference in their lives. And it's not uncommon to have the boy who abandoned the girl, and the family of the girl, come to the home asking for forgiveness for the way the girls had been treated.
A few years ago the average age of unmarried mothers was in the twenties; now most are in their teens. It is difficult to find where the necessary sex education is being given; it's mostly limited to information on contraception. And praise for the unmarried mothers is rare; blame is all that is heard.
Sister knows that society doesn't change overnight but she hopes there will come a time for praising these girls who had an easy way presented to them but, wanting to do what was morally right, refused to take the easy way out.