Monday, January 25, 2010

"The Pregnancy Pact"

This past Saturday night started off with the intentions of having a simple, relaxing night spent watching a movie with some girlfriends. However, it soon turned into us engaging in somewhat heated discussions over the contents of the movie we were watching. What were we watching you ask? Surprisingly, it was a Lifetime movie that got us all riled up.

Lifetime’s newest “inspired by true events” creation, “The Pregnancy Pact”, premiered last Saturday night at 9:00 pm. The movie followed four teenage girls at a high school in Gloucester, Massachusetts who all become pregnant at the age of fifteen. When the number of pregnant girls at their high school spikes to an astonishing 18, media from all over the nation start to focus on this tiny town. Even more controversy starts to arise when rumors surface that the pregnant girls made a pact to all become pregnant at the same time. Throw in the mother of the main character (pregnant 15 year old Sara’s) who believes in “abstinence-only education”, and Lifetime has quite the drama.

Most of the movie was inspired, not based-on, the 2008 events that occurred in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Though the movie portrays four of the pregnant girls making a pact, none of the real life pregnant Gloucester girls ever admitted to such a pact.

As my friends and I watched the movie, we found ourselves using each commercial break to discuss how irritated we were with the movie. The first thing that immediately got our attention was the immaturity, and seemingly-naivety of the girls who were getting pregnant. Whether this came from the abstinence-only education that their school system firmly believed in, or the way the director wanted these characters to be portrayed, we felt they had no idea how their decision to get pregnant was going to affect them and everyone around them for the rest of their lives. Though this clueless-ness continued throughout most of the movie, the last ten minutes showed the girls coming to the realization of what they had done and the consequences. Everything from the thought of adoption, financial strains, to losing a high-school love was shown as a consequence, and rightfully so.

While we could not come to a conclusion on how we exactly felt about this movie, the fact remains that it gets people to think about the topic of teen pregnancy. Overall, this movie can be used as a great tool for mothers and daughters to open the lines of communication about pregnancy, sex and birth control. I’m confident that no mother that has seen this movie wants to be put in the situation of Sara’s, who firmly believed that her daughter Sara believed in abstinence and was not having sex, only to be completely misinformed when 15 year-old Sara announces she is pregnant. After seeing that miscommunication, I think every mother with a daughter would want to sit her daughter down and watch this with her.

While the actions and thoughts of the movies’ teen girls are more than often very questionable, by the end of the movie I believe a strong message was put forth that teen pregnancy is a serious issue facing the entire nation, and is not something that should be accepted or ignored. Communication, education, and prevention were all ways the movie highlighted on how to deal with this issue, and overall, I believe Lifetime did a good job bringing teen pregnancy to the forefront of many families’ minds.

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