Friday, September 12, 2008

Pregnancy Pact

Remember the national scandal a few months ago about the "pregnancy pact" among some teenage girls in Small Town, Massachusetts, which led to cries for increased access to birth control/implementation of abstinence-only education/mandatory curfews for teenagers/increased parental prosecution/development of self-esteem curricula/stricter TV and video game ratings/Focus on the Family take-over of government/ People for the American Way take-over instead?

What those girls did was foolish, but I took on the Judge Kozinski-inspired viewpoint of “The parties are hereby advised to chill.” (An exception goes to the actual girls and their parents; Future daughter, if you're reading this, don't think that kind of irresponsible behavior is tolerated in this house).

At the Tijuana clinic I volunteered at in Colonia Obrera, there were five girls, ranging in ages 13-16,who plopped down on the bench in the makeshift shed-cum-medical office, and gigglingly requested some pregnancy tests. Three of the five turned out to be pregnant, while the other two were so genuinely disappointed by their negative results, that they asked if there weren't some "prueba otra." What this means to me is that some girls, in many little towns around the world, make "pregnancy pacts" with their friends. The difference is that when it happened in the U.S., it led to double-overtime for Fox News staff, while in TJ it was just another group of girls seen in the clinic before we broke for our lunch of nachos and pink water from the cooler. This demonstrates how startlingly rare these things are in the U.S., and maybe we should celebrate that we're doing something right.


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