In the summer of 2008, 17 girls at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts turned up pregnant– more than four times the average number of pregnancies in previous years at the 1200-student school. School officials and reporters across the nation began to speculate that the girls got pregnant on purpose, particularly after the school nurse noticed that girls were flooding into the school clinic to take pregnancy tests and acting more upset when they received “negative” results than positive.
On June 18, reporter Kathleen Kingsbury made a big splash at Time Magazine when she published an article claiming that the girls had confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. The high-school fathers, obviously, were not in on the pact, and were all very dismayed to hear that not only had they been manipulated as part of this master scheme, but that they were likely to be paying child support for life and facing charges of statutory rape for having sex with minors. Whoops– bet the sex wasn’t worth it!
Anyway, I remember being captivated by the story when this article came out after a string of movies that glamorized teen and accidental pregnancies– Juno and Knocked Up to name a few– and wondering whether Hollywood had anything to do with this high school pregnancy boom. So a few weeks ago, when the made-for-TV Lifetime movie called “Pregnancy Pact” aired, I was sitting on my couch with a biiiig bowl of popcorn and a smile.
My curiosity about these girls and their idiotic decision was insatiable, and the movie did not disappoint. It followed the girls from the initial stages of making the pact to peeing on a stick at the guidance counselor’s office, to drinking til they passed out at a graduation party when they realized their boyfriends didn’t want the babies as much as they did (uh… duh.).
I had SO much fun watching this movie, in fact, that my friend Ashley and I spent the entire next day watching a marathon of the reality show “Teen Mom” on MTV. Here’s a clip of Farrah fighting with her parents over the fact that she wants a social life despite the fact that she has a 9-month old to take care of.
If that didn’t steer you teenagers away from getting pregnant, here’s a clip that will, from MTV’s other reality series, “16 and Pregnant”:
Yea– that’s why you don’t let a 16-year-old knock you up, dumbass. I can’t even believe Nikkole slept with that guy in the first place, much less wanted him in the hospital room while she was in LABOR. What a little twirp. I would punch him in face if I saw him on the street.
My hope for these shameless reality series is that they shake a little sense into modern teenage girls by showing them the reality of actually being huge for 9 months, then pushing a 9-lb. baby out of a hole the size of a sand dollar, and then having to actually raise a person with or without the help of your idiot quarterback boyfriend.
As to the issue of why I find these shows so personally entertaining– well, I really don’t know.