updated 1 Sep 2013, 21:31
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Tue, May 14, 2013
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Mum at 18: I told mum about day before he was due
by Benita Aw Yeong

No one knew. Not even her parents.

It was nearing the end of her first year in junior college when she discovered she was pregnant by her boyfriend of three years.

The decision to keep her baby was simple, Pauline tells this reporter. We are not using her real name to protect the identity of her child.

Aborting her own flesh and blood would have been "too cruel", and would have haunted her for the rest of her life, she explains.

But it was hardly an easy decision to live with either.

She did everything to hide her swelling belly from those around her. Her worst fear was that the school would find out, and that she would be expelled or asked to defer taking her A Levels.

The level-headed 19-year-old says simply: "I needed to keep studying, so that I can go to university and get a good job."

She feels a university degree would give her the best chance to break out of the poverty her family is mired in: "My father is 50 plus and every day I see him... he would tell me, 'In Singapore, if you don't have a degree, you can't earn a lot of money.'"

The sole breadwinner takes home around $1,000 a month. She, her parents and two older siblings live in a four-room flat in the north.


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