What Should be done about the Gloucester Teen Pregnancy Pact?

Posted in uncategorized by Nathan Creitz on June 23, 2008
On June 20th, a CNN Video shows an interview with guest host Michael Graham interviewing Angus McQuilken of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and Sue Todd, the President and CEO of the daycare that allows High School students at Gloucester High to continue their education even while pregnant and after delivery. The topic of discussion was about the pact that several girls made at Gloucester High to get pregnant and become moms together. Some of them even gave a 24 year old homeless man a bottle of liquor just to get them pregnant. None of the girls are over the age of 16. Both of Michael Graham’s guests are advocating for more sex education and confidential access to contraceptives. They both agreed that abstinence is a colossal failure. When asked if shame should play a role in all of this, Sue answered that accountability is important but shame is not. Angus also mentioned that dialogue with parents is important. However, Michael Graham challenged that notion by saying that it seemed like the school system was trying to leave the parents out by making contraceptives available without parental consent.
Certainly the school can improve their sex education program, but to believe that abstinence doesn’t work is ludicrous. What Gloucester needs is an entire community that is ready to provide hope to these students. They also need to be giving their teens a reality check about what teenage pregnancy will do to their future. It’s amazing that the “experts” seem to think that they should make teen pregnancy just as acceptable and even allow strollers in the halls of the school. Their attempts to normalize teen pregnancy has backfired. There is no shame on the part of these girls. They have no sense of right and wrong in this matter. One story even said that they were going to the clinic frequently and were more upset to find out they weren’t pregnant and when they finally got pregnant they were giving each other high fives.
We should all know that parents are the key. Angus mentioned that the abstinence program is what the current administration has been advocating for eight years and it is a “colossal failure”. So blame the government that 17 girls in Gloucester are pregnant? I found it interesting that Angus spewed out statistics about Lowell being the 9th highest teen pregnancy rate in Massachusetts and they use abstinence-only education. He also mentioned that the third highest teen pregnancy rate was in Lawrence which also practices abstinence-only education. Why did he choose those two for his statistics? What about the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th highest? Wouldn’t his argument have been stronger if he had said the first and second highest teen pregnancy rates are in towns that practice abstinence-only education? Could it be that every other town in the top ten doesn’t teach abstinence-only? In fact, the top ten towns for teen pregnancy show that the rate increase is more due to less affluent households than it has to do with what kind of education they are receiving at school. Both Lawrence and Lowell are relatively low-income towns, much like Gloucester. This is a problem of people who have no hope and want to take control of their own destiny.
Teaching these girls that there is a hope for a better future, as well as making them aware of how teen pregnancy can adversely affect that future is important. Abstinence works if there is support from moms and dads as well as school administration. In this case, it seems that the administration wants to work against parents by letting these teens think that sexual activity is normal and acceptable before marriage, and telling them that even being a single mom is okay. There needs to be more parental involvement and less school involvement. Schools shouldn’t be dictating how parents should raise their children. The answer won’t come in the form of a government policy or in a school curriculum. The answer to this increasing trend in teen pregnancy is for parents, coaches, mentors and pastors to share hope with these troubled teens before they get involved sexually.


One Response

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  1. bauer242 said, on November 17, 2009 at 9.48 am

    wow . . . it always amazes me what people will say . . . and as one not very good at watching what i say in response

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