We’ve grown used to seeing irresponsible teens and bad parenting on the MTV show “16 And Pregnant,” and that’s part of what makes it such a compelling and powerful watch. It teaches cocky adolescents that having a baby is more than just dressing infants in cute clothes and parading a kid around in a stroller at the park. But on last night’s special 1.5-hour long episode of the show, featuring anorexic pregnant teen Kayla, Kayla’s mother Deb was the truly horrific parent.
Kayla’s anorexia and struggle with her eating disorder made her pregnancy doubly difficult. Her complex and uncomfortable feelings about her body had her skipping meals and unwilling and unable to eat food, even though she knew taking in nutrients was absolutely necessary for the health of her child. But despite several close calls, and a complete lack of support from her mother, Kayla gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Over and over, we see Kayla express — in an articulate and nuanced way — how her eating disorder has skewed her brain’s ability to do what’s right for her baby. But then, just weeks after giving birth, and knowing that her daughter had long-struggled with anorexia, Deb asks her daughter to go on a diet with her. Keep reading »
I have teen pregnancy on my mind today. In case you haven’t heard, today is the National Day to End Teen Pregnancy, and 16 years ago, I was a pregnant teen. I always knew motherhood would be an important part of my life, and when I was 18 and found out I was pregnant, there was a voice inside of me that said, calmly and clearly, Now is the time. Keep reading »
Craziest. School. Project. Ever.
Gaby Rodriguz, a high school girl in Washington, faked a pregnancy for six months of her senior year as part of a school project on stereotypes. For the past six months, students at Toppenish High School in Washington thought Rodriguez, 17, was pregnant. Only her mother, her boyfriend, the principal, her best friend, a sibling, and a few teachers knew Gaby’s pregnancy was a fake. Keep reading »
“Me getting pregnant was a result of bad choices, not having boundaries, sexual abuse from the time I was 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. … My mother said, ‘You can’t stay here,’ so I had to move with my father in Nashville. I hid the whole thing. … My father as part of his decree about what’s gonna go on in his house and what isn’t gonna go on in the house said … ‘I would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River than to bring shame on this family with the indecency of an illegitimate child.’ He said this and I know that I am pregnant. So I’m thinking, ‘Well, I’m just going to have to kill myself.’ … I did stupid things like, you know, drinking detergent and all that crazy stuff that you do when you’re trying to get attention, when you’re really just trying to cry for help.”
—Oprah talks to Piers Morgan about getting pregnant at age 14, and feeling “no connection to [the baby] whatsoever.” Shortly after the detergent drinking incident, Oprah lost the baby. She says that she took it as her second chance. Watch more of the powerful interview here. [via NY Daily News] Keep reading »
It’s about time! MTV will air a special called “No Easy Decision” in which Markai Durham, a teen on the latest season of “16 And Pregnant,” has an abortion. As first reported by Crushable, Markai got pregnant by her boyfriend James shortly after giving birth to baby Za’karia and decided to end the pregnancy. The special will air on December 28.
Keep reading »
I remember when gossip columns devoted space to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Now we’ve got Amber Portwood, the young woman on “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” who Star magazine says is pregnant with her second baby. Amber is already the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Leah, with ex-fiance Gary Shirley. Star says she’s dating a cage fighter named Clinton Yunker and “is hoping that the child is Shirley’s nonetheless.”
There’s no escaping the “Teen Mom” girls now. Just admit it: it’s dirt cheap for paparazzi to photograph them, so they are claiming tabloid domination. And while Catelynn and Tyler (who gave their kid up for adoption) are the couple who tug our heart strings, you couldn’t avoid Amber if you tried.
And that worries me. Keep reading »
Country music, Chick-fil-A, and teen pregnancy: three things that can be found anywhere in America but are heavily concentrated in the South. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports last week which show the top 10 states with the highest rate of pregnant teens in 2008 sweep across the Bible belt: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (along with New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, which are more in the Southwest). Obviously, geographic location alone doesn’t make someone eligible for “16 & Pregnant.” Experts say the same states full of pregnant teens are the ones in which “sex education” teaches abstinence as the only form of birth control. Keep reading »