Massachusetts Teen Pregnancy Pact A Total Sham?
So, remember that teen pregnancy pact story we wrote about yesterday that was featured in Time? Well, one of our frequent commenters, Go-To-Girl, pointed us to a blog post she wrote where she theorizes that the pact story is actually a bit of a scam. After doing some serious number crunching and some nosing around the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s statistic, Go-To-Girl figured out that the percentage of teen pregnancies that the school reflects is actually lower than the lowest state pregnancy rate in the nation (North Dakota) — which she says blows a hole in the “pregnancy outbreak” story hook. Additionally, the pact aspect is also in question according to Go-To-Girl’s research. More info, after the jump… While the story got national attention when it was featured on CNN and in Time, the original reporting on the story in the Glouchester Daily Times only mentions “intentional” pregnancy here:
To get to the bottom of the problem, Sullivan investigated and came up with a startling revelation: According to his conversations with upperclassmen, some younger students may be becoming pregnant on purpose. Kim Daly, nurse practitioner for the high school, was unable to confirm specifics but did say that the majority of students reporting pregnancies this school year were in the younger grades.
If all this information is accurate, why the sudden frenzy over a “pact” made by teens to “intentionally” get pregnant? Go-To-Girl’s theory is that “health education funding has been cut at Gloucester High, and the school’s board will vote this fall on whether to provide contraception in its school clinic.” She seems to imply that a fuss is being made in order to use it as an example of why contraception should be offered and other news outlets didn’t do additional reporting or get interviews with the pregnant girls to support the claim that there was a pact to begin with.
Regardless, I am confused about one thing — if, indeed, 17 girls got pregnant on accident, rather than on purpose, at Gloucester High School, isn’t that a much better example of why this school is in need of available contraception? If you’re trying to get pregnant on purpose, you don’t use birth control. Anyway, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts, and thanks to Go-To-Girl for passing along her theory. [MsGoToGirl]