Pregnancy on the Rise at Gloucester High
July 1, 2008
Eight girls from Gloucester High School in Gloucester, MA, have been the talk of the town. The principal of the school claims the girls—none older than 16—made a “pregnancy pact” with each other and planned to “get pregnant and raise their babies together.” The girls haven’t spoken to reporters, so the “pregnancy pact” may simply be an exaggeration. But what makes this story shocking is the fact that 9 other girls at Gloucester High have gotten pregnant—for a total of 17 teen pregnancies this year!
What’s going on in Gloucester that has girls lining up to get pregnant? Is it something in the water? Some people blame the media and think that all the attention pregnant celebrities get makes pregnancy seem glamorous. Others think that the girls just wanted someone to love them and thought that having a baby would fill their emotional needs.
It’s easy to point fingers, but where’s the good sex education and access to health services? Sex education at Gloucester High School ends freshman year. You can’t expect teens to avoid pregnancy by leaving them in the dark! Good sex ed wouldn’t just teach teens about the 9-month birth cycle, but it would also teach teens how to prevent pregnancy. Teens would learn about proper use of condoms and other birth control, and they would get all the facts about options if they do become pregnant.
Gloucester works hard to keep teen moms in school and offers free on-site day care. It’s great to see that pregnant teens are welcome, but what about preventing future teen pregnancies? In a school where day care is offered, why not offer condoms in the nurse’s office, too?
Getting pregnant isn’t a solution to poverty or lack of jobs and opportunities. And having a baby definitely isn’t the way to have someone to love and love you back. Pregnancy only makes life more difficult, especially for teens that have no education, job or people to help raise a child. Even though life can seem tough, having a baby is not the solution. It’s worth waiting until you’re older to get pregnant. You owe it to yourself AND the baby.