Of the people that have commented on the Duggar’s post, several have mentioned the fear of giving birth to so many babies. Imagine my giggles when I saw that MTV is running a 16 and Pregnant marathon. On Labor Day. Get it? Labor? Labor Day?

I got sucked into this show this summer. I swore I wouldn’t watch it because it was MTV and I figured it would pull a Juno and glorify teen pregnancy.

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After a year of Jamie-Lynn and Bristol having babies,

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did we really need to see 16-yr-old girls celebrating the impending birth of their babies by registering for the latest Baby Burberry, dressing their kids like Suri Cruise?

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But the show surprised me. Instead of glamorizing teen pregnancy, the network came through and managed to show an honest, if not gut-wrenching display of the realities of life as teenage parents.

While the show is not perfect—of the six, only one teen gave her baby up for adoption and the show never once presented the emotional turmoil that comes with the decision of abortion (not to mention the legal ramifications)—it does come close to giving an idea of how difficult it is to be a teenager and pregnant, difficulties felt by both the teen female and male.

What we know is that teen pregnancies are on the rise. Many health care professionals are attributing this to the slow down of education where sex education is concerned—Abstinence Only education has failed, an issue we will certainly discuss later this semester when we move into discussions regarding reproductive health.

Teen pregnancy is certainly not a new issue; as we know from our reading, girls were often shipped off to relatives or another “safe space” out of town when they got pregnant in high school, only to return to rumors and whispers of gossip.

How did your high school handle teen pregnancy? Do you recall anyone leaving the school because of pregnancy? Were the pregnant girls allowed to continue attending classes? Did they face verbal abuse when signs of their pregnancy became clear? How did the boys fare in all of this? How did the community as a whole respond?

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