Friday, June 20, 2008
Teen Pregnancy Pact
A bizarre pregnancy pact among teen girls at Gloucester High School has resulted in 17 girls becoming pregnant. Significantly, this is four times the number of pregnancies that were reported last year. Starting last October, girls began to visit the school clinic for pregnancy tests, but it became more suspicious when several returned multiple times. The tipping point came when school officials noticed "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were."
Shockingly, all of the 17 girls are under 16 years of age. Adding even more tawdriness, one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless man. The question of the 17 pregnant girls has led to a search for answers in popular culture, particularly movies like the award-winning teen pregnancy comedy "Juno" and "Knocked Up" which have portrayed the subject lightly.
Of course, the news comes just after Britney Spears' 17-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, gave birth to a girl. It may also involve the stagnant economy of Gloucester, a fishing town left behind by globalization, which has in turn left young people "directionless."
Perhaps the answer is even simpler, though. A recent graduate of Gloucester High School, Amanda Ireland, who was herself a pregnant teen, believes that the 17 girls simply want "to finally have someone to love them unconditionally."
Juno, teen pregnancy comedy