A Gloucester, Mass., teenager speaks out.
When we brought you the news of the teen pregnancy pact in Gloucester, Mass., yesterday, the response was overwhelming. It was our most popular story of the day, and moms are still talking about how 17 girls at Gloucester High got pregnant this year -- and half confessed they had made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together.
What is the reason for this disturbing trend? This morning, momlogic spoke with Christen Callahan, a teen mom from Gloucester, for her insight.
Momlogic: Did you know anything about the pregnancy pact?
Christen: I didn't know there was an official pact, but I kind of figured that there was something going on because there was a specific group of friends who all got pregnant at the same time.
Momlogic: Why do you think this is happening?
Christen: I think Juno and Jamie Lynn Spears certainly play a part in it. A lot of people look up to celebrities, and I definitely think it's an influence. But I really don't know if that's the main reason the pregnancy pact is going on in my town. It certainly didn't have anything to do with my own pregnancy. My daughter, who's 3, was unplanned, and I got pregnant at 14.
Momlogic: What's your advice to other teens who want to get pregnant?
Christen: Before you have a child, you really need to think about it, because you literally have to give up everything. You can't go out anymore. You lose your friends and your social life. I am crazy in love with my daughter and wouldn't change having her for the world, but it is such a huge commitment. These girls have no idea.
Christen: I think in a way it does. It's there and it's readily available, so it's just easy for the teen moms to just leave their kids there. It kind of seems like there's not really a consequence to getting pregnant, if that makes sense. However, the on-site daycare center was a really good thing for me personally, because I was able to continue my education and even graduate early because my daughter was cared for there.
Momlogic: Is there anything you wish your mom would have told you before you got pregnant?
Christen: If anything, maybe my mom could have talked to me more about the consequences. She never had "the talk" with me about the birds and the bees. I just kind of figured it all out on my own.
Momlogic contributor psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky, who discussed the pregnancy pact on The Early Show this morning, concurs. "Teens consistently say they want to talk to their parents about teen pregnancy and to get answers," she says, "but today's parents aren't sending the message that teen pregnancy is not OK." It's time to speak up.
Coming tomorrow: Dr. Lisa shares with momlogic the top five reasons the pregnancy pact exists.