Teen Pregnancy Popular?
In early 2018 an episode of the documentary on A&E called “Undercover High” had segments about teen pregnancy tests, being pregnant, and being a teen parent. The show focuses on the interactions with students by several adults that have gone undercover as high school students. In the Pregnancy Test episode we get into the lives of two students with unplanned pregnancies.
The adults don’t recall they had the same casual attitude to being pregnant. An earlier episode noted how prominent cell phones are and the impact –for good and bad – they have as a part of high school. The undercover adults propose phones are changing attitudes around unplanned pregnancy. They say,
“In every school around the nation, teen pregnancy has been an issue that happens. It’s just part of life. But now I think social media plays a really large role in making that more acceptable. Kids would post a lot about babies and things like that, and say ‘I can’t wait to be a mom.’ That wasn’t the case when I was in school.”
The stats show teen pregnancy and abortion rates are down – but also that the number of children entering foster systems is up. In the episode, one student gets an apartment, keeps a job, and attempts to parent and attend high school. Living with her boyfriend, working, and parenting keep pushing out school. The undercover adult (also a parent of a young child) notices the student has not been to school in over a week. She visits with her son for a “play date”.
The undercover student thinks it is just too much to try to be an adult as a high school student. She is concerned her friend will not finish school, and she’s probably right. The stats show that 7 of 10 teen mothers never complete high school. Only 1 in every 50 will get a college degree, and 80% will spend the rest of their life dependent on some form of welfare.
Talking to high school students in the Northwest, we don’t see that most consider it “cool” to be a pregnant teen. There may be pockets of students that see pregnancy as a way out of a horrible life, that entering adulthood as soon as possible will make life bearable. Everyone’s life is different, and no one has to go it alone.
If you or a friend are facing an unplanned pregnancy, get advice from someone who’s been there and knows how to protect your rights.