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June 25, 2008

Girls make Pregnancy Pact at Massachusetts High School

This story is perhaps one of the most bizarre ones of late. Apparently getting pregnant in high school is in these days at a Gloucester high school. It is believed that at least 17 girls made a pact to get pregnant and raised their children together. Many of the girls are aged 16 and under.

Suspicion rose after an increase in young girls looking for pregnancy tests happened at a health clinic. Some of the teens allegedly cried when tests were negative. One of the fathers is a 24 year old homeless man. So these pregnancies were not mistakes that were the result of love struck youthfulness. Instead these pregnancies were deliberate and the result of some sick promise made between misguided children.

The Superintendent of the school says that the girls made an agreement to get pregnant and that those involved mostly had low self esteem. The mayor of Gloucester, Carolyn Kirk does not believe that there was a pact between the girls. However, she does not have another explanation. Kirks says that statutory rape may need to be pursued in some of the cases.

Some people are saying that movies like Juno and the fact that Jamie Lynn, Britney Spear’s sister make teenage pregnancy look glamorous is the reason why teenage pregnancy is rising. I hope that teenage girls are smart enough to realize that those examples are not what they want to model their lives after. There are plenty of role models out there that young girls can look up to, why would they pick a fictitious one and the sister of a girl who has clearly lost her way?

Teen pregnancies are rising for some reason. The girls at this Gloucester high school are clearly lost and without clear direction. They are living in a town that has seen major economic decline as the fisheries in the area begin to dry up. High school itself is bleak enough without having a town that is dying all around you. Sometimes you just want to have a little piece of happiness and a baby can look like the missing piece of the puzzle.

I knew of several people that got pregnant in high school. One girl had three children before she graduated. Most of the girls I knew made it out of high school with just one baby but some of them had miscarriages and abortions along the way. You could feel the overwhelming need to be loved seeping through the walls of that school. There were broken homes and parents that just weren’t in touch with their children. It was easy to feel absolutely alone and one way to ensure that you are never alone is to have a baby. A baby is completely dependent on you and that can feel like love.

Did the girls come up with a pact? Well, may be not in the usual way that a pact is made. Perhaps one girl got pregnant and when other found out they wondered what it would be like to be a mom. Maybe the first few girls were happy and the other girls wanted to experience that joy too. That is not that far fetched.

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