Teen Pregnancy Pact Raises Questions

Teen Pregnancy Pact Raises QuestionsGloucester, a small town in Massachusetts is in the news for the wrong reason. 17 girls at Gloucester High School made a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. None of the girls was over 16 years of age and the pregnancies were no accident.

“Pregnancy was the desired outcome” says school superintendant Christopher Farmer. According to a report published in the Time magazine, school officials got suspicious when an unusually large number of girls began visiting the school clinic for pregnancy tests.

“Some girls seemed more upset when they weren’t pregnant than when they were,” and that some “reacted to the news that they were pregnant with high fives and plans for baby showers,” the school principal Joseph Sullivan told the magazine. Nearly half of the students admitted to making the pact.

This act has raised many questions and the reasons it seems could be many. "They will have a baby as part of their life to give them status," Farmer says. "Motherhood gives them status." Adults in Gloucester, according to the Time report, blame economic depression, broken families skewered sense of status, as well as difficult access to birth control, and movies like Juno and Knocked Up, that glamorize pregnancy. Experts feel that celebrities like Jamie Lynn Spears, TV actress and sister of the singer Britney Spears, sent out the wrong message to teens by getting pregnant at 16.

"It sort of gives you the impression of being an adult, an independent. It may give you an opportunity for unconditional love and attention from the baby and also that you give to the baby," Dr. Elisabeth Guthrie, a pediatric psychiatrist, says. The town’s school committee is expected to vote later this summer on the idea of providing contraceptives to the students. 


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