16 and Pregnant Star Steals Pregnancy Test
March 21, 2012
If you’re a fan of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, you may recognize Whitney Purvis, who appeared on the show in 2009. Now age 20, she was arrested for shoplifting a pregnancy test, valued at $15.98. This incident is in the news because of Purvis’ previous MTV appearance. We don’t know exactly why Purvis stole the test, but it is definitely concerning for other reasons.
The issue of having birth control covered by health insurance is currently being debated throughout the U.S. And while pregnancy tests are not the same as birth control, women’s reproductive health has been in the spotlight for more than a year now.
The fact is some women simply do not have room in their budgets for birth control, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Pregnancy tests can often be upwards of twenty dollars. And even though many health centers offer free pregnancy tests, with budget cuts and government funding being pulled, many of these health centers have had to cut hours and services—meaning fewer women and teens can access care. Until birth control and pregnancy tests are available either for a lower price or for free, it is low-income women and teens who will be disproportionately affected.
Many politicians are condemning women instead of helping them. In recent controversies, the desire for more affordable birth control has been met with hateful slurs. Other public figures have clearly implied that any woman who cannot purchase birth control should completely abstain from sex. This judgment, in addition to being incredibly sexist, is entirely unhelpful. Calling women names is bigoted and changes nothing.
Until a change is made to provide all women, as well as teens who may have little income, with affordable options for their reproductive health care, there will continue to be stories of women who could not afford birth control or even a pregnancy test, who feeling they have no other option, end up stealing them from the local Walmart.