Thursday, June 19, 2008

Contraception vs. desire for unconditional love—guess which wins

Time magazine and a Massachusetts TV station have the sad story of the pregnancy pact that led to 17 Gloucester High students age 16 and younger becoming pregnant.

Time gloats over how the "fiercely Catholic enclave"'s school failed to provide sex-ed and contraception access that's up to Planned Parenthood's standards, but that doesn't seem at all to be the issue, according to a former student:

Amanda Ireland, who graduated from Gloucester High on June 8, thinks she knows why these girls wanted to get pregnant. Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."
Even Time's reporter admits that throwing contraceptives at underage teens isn't going to solve this one:
Gloucester's elected school committee plans to vote later this summer on whether to provide contraceptives. But that won't do much to solve the issue of teens wanting to get pregnant. Says rising junior Kacia Lowe, who is a classmate of the pactmakers': "No one's offered them a better option."
I think proponents of abstinence education—the best programs of which stress building healthy relationships—can be forgiven for thinking there must be a better way to help these teens than attempting to persuade them to simply use "protection."

One wonders what kind of love the teens are getting at home. It would be interesting to learn how many of them have parents who are still together. Not very many, I fear.