Lifetime Television is selling the movie “ThePregnancy Pact” as inspired by a true story. I just wonder if they will be portraying the part of the story where the whole “pregnancy pact” was shown to be false.
In case you don’t remember the media coverage of the original story I will try to sum it up. During the 2007-2008 school year Gloucester High School in Massachusetts had a baby boom. The girls were turning up left and right to take pregnancy tests at the nurses office. Some of them were even disappointed by negative tests. Well, the principal, Joseph Sullivan, went to the press and said that the girls had made a pact to all get pregnant together. What he didn’t say is that a lot of girls didn’t have access to birth control, and that the end of the sex ed class they were encouraged to use the school daycare. What kind of message does that send to young girls. Many of the girls were also socially isolated and lacked a meaningful relationship with their families. The nearest women’s clinic was more than 20 miles away. Which is a huge distance when you are 14 and without a car. The school nurse and medical director tried to get the school to prescribe birth control without parental consent, but they were driven from their jobs. The school couldn’t even commit to teach the federally approved and funded abstinence only curriculum. A group of teenagers who don’t have birth control and whose parents aren’t passing on their values are exactly the group of teenagers you expect to have a baby boom.
I think that Lifetime has seen the success of the MTV shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Moms” and is trying to jump on the ratings train by scaring the crap out of parents. We need to decide our position on birth control as parents and then lovingly drill that position into our children’s heads. That’s how teen pregnancy is prevented.
Here is a link to the original Time Magazine coverage that started the whole firestorm. And the movie will be shown on Lifetime, Saturday at 9pm and with encores at the same time on Sunday and Monday.