There never seems to be a moment where young parenthood isn’t in the spotlight. But it’s gotten a recent boost this week after the The New York Times reported on a recent study purporting that shows like MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” have helped in the reduction of teen pregnancies. The study suggested as many as 20,000 teen pregnancies were prevented in 2010 because of young adults watching those shows.
Many outlets have been reporting on this study, but very few are including the thoughts or opinions from those they’re talking about. So, after the jump, here’s a roundtable discussion conducted over email with Gloria Malone and Natasha Vianna, who are both tireless advocates for teen moms and their families.
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“Well, I worked at McDonald’s and I spent the money I earned at McDonald’s to get my abortion. I was only 15 and the person who got me pregnant did not want to give me any money. I was $40 short, so I had my drug dealer call him and threaten him, so he gave me the last $40. I really credit [my abortion] as something that changed my life because I got a job, I took care of my business, and I moved on. And I’m not one of those people who’d have looked back and been like, ‘Oh, that kid would be 30 right now…‘ I don’t think, ‘Oh, I really regret it… ‘Maybe that’s a fucked-up thing to say but, I don’t regret it at all, number one, and number two, it was one of the best things that happened to me. Not actually being on the table and having it done, but feeling like I was responsible for my own life and realizing that when I made mistakes, there were consequences and that I could take care of those consequences. I could make mistakes and I could fix them. And live with them. It wasn’t a big deal.”
Kathleen Hanna from the bands Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and Julie Ruin spoke with The Rumpus on the upon the release of a new documentary about her career, “The Punk Singer.” Thank Goddess for women like Kathleen who offering something different to the dominant narrative that abortions make you sad and regretful and damaged forever. A lot of women — I would venture to say most women — do feel sad about having an abortion. But ultimately feel empowered and relieved not to have their lives turned upside down by an unplanned pregnancy.
After the jump, Kathleen expanded more about why her abortion at age 15 was one of the best things that ever happened to her: Keep reading »
Today in Horrible Things I Would Rather Not Know: a 17-year-old girl was arrested for shoplifting at a Victoria’s Secret in midtown Manhattan yesterday and was carrying a dead fetus inside her bag.
Two 17-year-old girls were pulled over by security guards inside the Victoria’s Secret in Herald Square because they were seen stealing lingerie. Then they noticed a “strong odor.” They found a dead male fetus inside one of the shopping bags, which appeared to be six or seven months along. One girl is believed to be the mother. She told police she had a miscarriage the day before and had posted on Facebook on Wednesday, “These Cramps, SON.” Police are currently investigating the cause of death. Keep reading »
Hooray! Not everything concerning teenagers and sexuality is terrible: The birth rate for teenagers in the United States hit a historic low in 2012, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though the overall birth rate for all American women stayed about the same as in 2011, the birth rate for teens ages 15 to 19 dropped for all racial and ethnic groups — dropping six percent overall from 31.3 per 1,000 teen girls in 2011 to 29.4 per 1,000 teen girls in 2012. Last year’s rate was half as much as the 1991 teen pregnancy rate, which a CDC expert credited to teens delaying sex but the ones who do get laid using contraception. Take that, abstinence-only education! More notable news: The birth rate for women in their early-20s also dropped from 2011 (hello, economy) while the birth rates for women in their late-30s and early-40s increased. [USA Today] [Screaming child image via Shutterstock]
I started dating Trent when I was 18 and he was 21. Three dates in, I was hooked. We spent all our free time together, going for drives out in the country, watching the latest movies or just sitting around talking. We were also having the copious amounts of sex you would expect from a couple of smitten, horny young adults.
One day we were sitting around watching a reality television show – a relatively new concept back in the year 2000 – about a girl around my age who got pregnant.
“Wouldn’t it be weird if that happened to us?” I said.
“Yeah, totally weird, but it’d work out okay,” Trent replied without thinking.
I wasn’t convinced, but it did make me think about how I would handle it. The fact that we’d recently had a slip-up in the condom department was also at the forefront of my mind, so after the program ended, I decided to ease my mind by taking a quick pregnancy test. Keep reading »
I’m having a moment with Chicago. First, the deep dish pizza, and now, an “unexpected” ad campaign to help prevent teen pregnancy. Some people are calling the ads featuring teen boys Photoshopped to look preggo “disturbing” — but the so are the teenage pregnancy rates in the city. So, touché. I think they’re genius.
“We wanted to create an ad campaign that would cut through the clutter and get people thinking about teen pregnancy and teen births, and how it can affect more than just teen girls. The daughters of teen mothers are more likely to become teen moms themselves. And the sons of teen moms are more likely to go to prison. These are challenges that go beyond one girl or one woman,” explained a spokesman from Chicago Department of Health.
Well played, Chicago. I hope it works. [Sun UK]