By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Jordan didn’t have a supportive family, money or even a home, but she and her boyfriend Derek were determined to figure things out and raise their daughter Genevieve together. Savon was lucky in that she had a home, along with Aunt LaDonna and boyfriend Mauwi by her side. But the baby’s father, Eli, wanted nothing to do with Savon or his son.
Like we see so often on “16 and Pregnant,” each of the girls may have a distinct story, but the words they use to describe how they feel as they become teen mothers are often the same. They have feelings of losing themselves, of no longer being the popular socialite or the athletic singer-songwriter with dreams and aspirations for the future. Instead, they’re tasked with the ultimate sacrifice: dedicating yourself to keeping another human alive. Being a parent is a full-time job that requires most of your time and energy, leaving very little for you to claim as your own. And it’s a job that lasts at least 18 years.
Four in 10 teens have never thought about how their lives would change if they got pregnant or got someone pregnant. But as each of these episodes, as well as the rest of the season, have shown, getting pregnant before you’re ready to be a parent changes your life in a pretty drastic way. It’s only one of the reasons the show has been described as a precautionary tale.
Have these episodes got you thinking about how an unplanned pregnancy could affect your life — and do you want more information on preventing one? Check out MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life website for more on sexual health and Bedsider.org for all kinds of info on the various methods of birth control.