Friday, June 20, 2008

Pregnant on purpose

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a strange string of articles in the Boston Globe: first, a news piece about an unusual up-tick in teenage pregnancies in Gloucester, MA, and then, some interesting letters to the editor about that article.

Today, I discovered that Time Magazine (!) has picked up on this story, and there's even more intrigue. This was no accident. The teens made a PACT to get pregnant together and have their babies at the same time.


But there's more..

But by May, after nurse practitioner Kim Daly had administered some 150 pregnancy tests at Gloucester High's student clinic, she and the clinic's medical director, Dr. Brian Orr, a local pediatrician, began to advocate prescribing contraceptives regardless of parental consent, a practice at about 15 public high schools in Massachusetts... But the notion of a school handing out birth control pills has met with hostility. Says Mayor Carolyn Kirk: "Dr. Orr and Ms. Daly have no right to decide this for our children." The pair resigned in protest on May 30. (italics mine)
So the clinic personnel decided to do an intelligent thing, and offer the teens birth control (although with a pregnancy pact, I doubt they would have any takers). But the townspeople will have none of that. "We want our children pregnant!" say the parents of Gloucester.


To be fair, the high school principal and others interviewed in the article seem to understand that this isn't really about sex, but about lack of opportunity and a vision for the future. If these young women can't see a future for themselves, why not get pregnant?

Maybe one solution is something akin to the new TV show Baby Borrowers, which starts next week. This show gives teen couples a REAL baby to take care of for three days. Maybe something like that would help these Gloucester teens see what parenthood is REALLY like...

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