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Friday, June 20, 2008

Pact to have underage pregnancies

Teenage pregnancies are something that are frowned upon by parents groups, by health officials, and by politicians of all stripes. In addition, the concept of a teenager getting pregnant stems from an unlawful act whereby having sex with a teenager is actually illegal. So, it was all the more worrisome for officials in the state of Massachusetts in the US when 17 teenage girls (all of them younger than 16 years) became pregnant. Now teenage pregnancies have happened before, but this figure was 4 times the previous year's figure for the school, and let officials to worry that this was all part of a pact:

There are reports that some of the girls - none of whom is older than 16 - entered into a pact to have their babies together. The girls and their families have so far made no comment. Officials are also investigating the ages of the fathers. Some are believed to be in their twenties and could face the possibility of being charged with having sex with minors.
"Some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Gloucester High School principal Joseph Sullivan told Time magazine. Local officials say that nearly half of the girls had entered into a bizarre pact to have their babies together. Dr Elizabeth Guthrie, a paediatric psychiatrist at New York's Columbia University, told the BBC that some girls might be viewing pregnancy as a fast-track to adulthood and independence. "It may give you an opportunity for unconditional love and attention from the baby," she said.

Such a happening will really cause a lot of worries for health officials. How do you deal with such a situation; the girls are obviously not ready to have babies when they are so young.

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