Where Are The Non-Pregnancy Pacts?

May 1, 2012  |  

At the end of last week there were multiple articles popping up online about the resurgence of pregnancy pacts. Hellobeautiful.com had uncovered a Facebook photo of four high school girls showing off their expectant bellies while their friends commented that the pic was “kute” and wondered who would be the first to drop. I didn’t even want to click on the articles because the last time I had heard about pregnancy pacts was last January when a Memphis high school came under pressure for 90 of its teens being pregnant or having a baby that school year. The rate was chalked up to abstinence-only teaching, accidental pregnancies and unfortunately the thought that being a teen mom is “cute.” Before that it was the 2008 Gloucester High pregnancy pact involving 17 teens that sparked the Lifetime Original movie, and being four years removed from that, I wanted to believe that there was no way this craziness had become a trend again, but there the blatant evidence was staring me in the face. Looking at the photo like someone trying to decipher hieroglyphics, all I could think was, where are the non-pregnancy pacts?

I don’t particularly get bent out of shape over teen pregnancies. I do in the sense that it’s an unfortunate situation, an accident of the utmost consequence, and a life-altering experience that makes me feel sympathy and compassion for the teens involved, but when it comes to intentionally deciding you are going to create a child knowing full well you cannot care for it, I can’t wrap my head around that choice. Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote a great five-point article to try to ease his frustrations with the reality behind the image seen in the photo. I love how he presented his ideas from an optimistic viewpoint of what he hopes are the circumstances behind these girls’ decisions, but I’m going to remix his list into my own non-pregnancy pact from the perspective of a teen girl. If you’re at the point of considering making a pregnancy pact there’s no reason to sugar coat reality; you need the facts laid out for you in the form of tough love.

  • We are not fully equipped to provide for any kids without depending on the help of the state or living off of relatives until we are deep into our 20s. We can be as optimistic as we like but the fact is that if we’re in high school, still living with a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin because we don’t have the means to provide for ourselves, possibly because we aren’t even of a legal working age yet. Considering we can’t provide for self, we certainly can’t provide for another without being a burden on someone else in order to keep up with the pregnashians. Making that decision in spite of this knowledge is not fair to myself, my child, my family, or society.
  • While attempting to become pregnant we’re also putting ourselves at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. Knocked up may not be the only thing we get while we forego protection to have a baby. The HIV rate for women in certain areas of the US now rivals African nations and it’s not slowing down. Just because the virus is no longer a death sentence doesn’t mean it’s easy to live with by any means, not to mention it can be passed on to the child, like other infections such as Herpes. It’s selfish to play with our health and the health of our baby in that way.
  • Our children’s fathers will not be in our lives forever. High school sweethearts that turn into 40-year marriages are not a dime a dozen. The likelihood that we will be broken up by the end of the school year, let alone the end of our high school career, let alone the end of my nine-month pregnancy term is far greater. Since this still seems to be a trend, it bears emphasizing that a baby will not keep a boy, if anything the feeling of being trapped will push him away even more. In the slight chance that my child’s father will stick around and be a father, his financial means are the same as mine meaning there isn’t much he can do for our baby.

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  • I blame the government. Lots of lazy, dumb folks having babies for a welfare check. I see bunch of young girls and dumb, lazy women having one too many kids and they are just collecting welfare,child assistance checks.

  • It’s nothing cute about this picture. This is why parent should be able to whoop they kids.

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  • juliapregnancytestreviews

    Well this is the painful reality that our society now have. Unplanned pregnancy has been the measurement if a teenager will surpass the puberty or teenage hurdle level. If only proper sex education and parental guidance are given to these poor girls, there must somehow a twist of fate.

  • Jumelle

    I can go on and on about this topic- Yes it is not always the parents fault, but looking at the times we live in, parents are babies themselves and lacking when it comes to discipline and rearing their children– teenage pregnancy is unfortunately a perpetuating cycle that gets glorified- I can’t tell you how many TEENAGE GIRLS I’ve known of that have had BABYSHOWERS- Our community glorifies teenage and out of wedlock pregnancy- I constantly defend myself when people ask why I’ve been waiting so long to have kids- when I say I’m not married, I’m looked at as if I have three eyes- We must take a step back and look at our morals as a community- because teenagers have access to so many things nowadays, if they’re not listening to their own parents about the hardships of teenage parenting, it is that much easier for them to watch “16 & Pregnant” or having someone else cheering them on….

  • Jaida Bang

    poor stupid girls. if they only knew the lifetime of trouble they were bring on themselves.

  • Niasiapitt

    I don’t know what these girls are thinking. Its very hard raising kids on your own & I know first hand because I’m a single parent of 2 kids with no help & I’m an adult so imagine being a teen. I hope more teen girls read this article & realize there is more to life than having babies.

  • Arie

    When I read first comment: my mind read “Who will be the first one to drop out?” As in drop out of high school. I had to re-read obviously. (d-_-b)

  • LiiSH

    I actually do have a non-pregnancy pact with 2 other friends… Seriously we just vowed to remain childless until we were prepared and able to provide. We do have a common age range and career goals we feel should be reached before embarking on such and important and life changing task.

    • I made one with my close friends in high school too. We vowed not to have to plan any baby showers until each of us had a stable career and a husband. So far, so good.

  • IllyPhilly

    They’re getting the attention that they want. 

  • Redfernlatisha

    Moms? Some of these girls are being raised by fathers or both parents for that matter. There are a lot of neglectful parents out here, but I assure you some of these fast a** girls are just that. We have taken foundations out of where they spend just as much of their awake time as home, school, no prayer, no paddling, to much freedom, at home and in school, tv, music, even cartoons have adult nature to them now, does offering sex education keep kids safe from std, and pregnancy, or lead them to experimenting. It’s easy to place blame on someone when your not in their shoes.

  • Tajmahal

    My mother was a single parent and she drilled in us the importance of marrying before having children. My mother was a ”do as I say and not as I do” mom.  She turned down the radio when driving and spoke to us about the real world.  She didnt rely on teachers, tv, etc to raise us. And I didnt find this out until years later, but she use to go through my room, listen to my phone calls, and call other parents to verify my whereabout, etc. 

  • Educatediva101

    The Parents! Where are they? Not only for the girls, but the boys too! Parents need to educate both their sons and daughters. Young people don’t take seriously how difficult it is raising a child or that there are STD’s that stay with you for life; even taking you to an early grave. I say again! WHERE ARE THE PARENTS OF THESE GIRLS AND BOYS! Talk to your children. Educate yourself so that you can educate and save your children. Ignorance parents raise ignorant children! I’m just saying…

  • Did they really ask this question? I guess we can stereotype ourselves . . . smh

    I beg you to post an article that celebrates the thousands of African American female high school and college graduates in the class of 2012! I’m ashamed that you would ask this question. That you are feeding into this propaganda. I swear we do the most harm to ourselves . . . 

  • Linda

    What is going on with our children ….. SMH.  

  • Ginasings

    I was 17 when my daughter was born in 1983.  My mother was sick, when she found out I was pregnant.  I was so ashamed and I was determined to stay in school and graduate, which is did in the top 10% of my class.  It was not easy being a teenage, single parent. I went to college and struggled a lot.  I stopped for a while because I couldn’t get it.  I then decided to go back and obtained my bachelors in psychology.  I now know I suffer from Adult ADD and anxiety, which helped me to better understand myself so I could succeed.   I am now working on my master’s degree in secondary school counseling (completing in less than 2 years with a 3.8 GPA).  I have 4 children, 3 daughters 28, 24, 21 and my son is 18.  All of my daughters graduated early from high school and went on to college.  My 21 year old had a baby at 17 but is married to the father for 2 years now.  She is a licensed cosmetologist and just finished her Instructor’s program.  My 24 year old daughter is a single mom of a 2 year old son.  She will be graduating from college this month with a degree in marketing and minor in pyschology.  My 28 year old daughter is an event planner, vocalist and is married with no children.  My son has no children and is homeschool since he is autistic.  You can’t predict what will happen if your child becomesa teen parent, but with the right support and guidance they will do just fine.  My family (expecially my mom) was there every step of the way.  I’ve worked with teenage parents and shared my struggles with them.  I’ve also talked to girls that aren’t parents in hopes they won’t become pregnant.  The photo in this article bothers me because becoming a teen parent is nothing to glorify.  It’s a huge responsibility and shouldn’t be taken for granted.  I just hope these young girls understand how their lives are going to change and step up as a parent to take care of their child.

    • Tandi

      I just wanted to say good for you! and I agree – nothing to glorify and everything else you said….I always said if a girl lets becoming a single parent hold her back she probably wasn’t going anywhere anyway. It sure does make it harder though . We just are not equipped at that age, and it isn’t fair to anyone. If I knew then what I know now….  
       We have so much in common – I was 18 when I had my first in ’83…I have a 26 year old who had her first at 17, My 29 y.o is married , successful and no kids ( doesn’t intend to have)- she even tried her hand at event planning ,lol.  I have 4 girls and one boy. All within’ 1 yr of the ages of yours ,except the youngest who is 15 and has autism.. I went on to become an R.N
         …Again, Good job Ginasings!  I am glad you will be counselling high school students. They obviously need good role models like you (and me !) to  hopefully prevent it and to support them if/when it does happen….

      • Ginasings

        Wow!  We need to hookup.  Look for me on FB. Regina Zeta Blanchard.  I was going to school to be a nurse or doctor but changed my mind!  or email reginadivine@yahoo.com

    • Mls2698

      Great story about your academics and other achievements. I can imagine how hard it was being a teen mom because everyone talks about sex, but not the consequences. You have four children…….did you ever marry?

      • Ginasings

        Thank you and God bless!

        • Ginasings

          Yes I did get married and divorced the first time because I had him arrested for child molestation (my son’s father).  I stayed single until my children were older.  I then remarried but I’m currently going through a divorce because my husband had multiple affairs.  But I thank God I am keeping a level head, moving on and doing what I have to do.  I am a vicious person and I just decided he was better to pursue his interests and I not be in the way.

          • Ginasings

            I meant I am not a vicious person.

            • StuckInDaMatrix

              Great story!  You have so much strength.

            • Mls2698

              Lol, I was vicious when I found out my ex was cheating…..kicked down a door or two, and threw some bows. And yes, its best to let people do their own thing, or someone will get hurt!

          • Mls2698

            Keep your head up. Divorce is not easy, but at least you know the process. I’m happily divorced . too.

  • My daughter, her boyfriend and her friends have a non-pregnancy pact. I was just telling my mother, last week, how I think it’s nice that not ALL girls want to have sex. My daughter’s friends confide in her and in me and one of them told me that she will not have sex before she is married. Some young girls are holding on to old traditions. They have their reasons – some religious and some simply educated because they have goals for their lives. My daughter, her boyfriend and her friends all want to go to college, have established careers and travel before they get married and start their families. The study hard and get good grades and they are fully enjoying being young – parties, proms, trendy clothes and expensive extra-curricular activities are their outlets. My daughter knows that if there’s a baby, there’s none of that and she’s too selfish to give that up for the all-to-real responsibilities of raising a baby. I am happy that they are occupied with living and that they know they’re not missing out on anything by “playing grown-up.” 

  • Where is the article that showcases the thousands African American girls who graduate form both high school and college every year? We always magnify negativity. I beg that you post a positive article about young African American women today . . .

    We must  evaluate the psychology of a situation such as this. What options are these girls presented with upon graduation? . . . where are their parents? . . . What level of responsibility should the father’s of these unborn children have . . . it does take two . . . what can we do in our own communities to SAVE OUR DAUGHTERS . . . where are the organized protest? Volunteer . . . mentor . . . do something!

    • I totally agree. I’m 25, a college graduate, graduate school student, have a full time job, small business and am in the final stages of acquiring a condo. Where are the stories of young ladies like myself who aren’t having babies and are making responsible decisions for their future?

  • Trisha_B

    I saw this pic on another blog, where it showed the face & names of the girls. This pic is a few years old. The girl who posted the pic facebook wasn’t private so i was being nosey. Her oldest child is like 4 & she has a 6 month old. Reading her wall posts, i just kept SMH. I guess she found out this picture was floating around, she went on the “h8ter” argument. Saying anyone has something negative to say about their pic is jealous and they must can’t have any of their own. & her little friends commented on it agreeing w/ her smh. Its sad that females are thinking like this. Where are the parentS?! 

    • She’s got it severely twisted. Knowing the picture is old really doesn’t make it any better, especially when she’s still got people egging her on and giving her props for it. There are no words….just a lack of maturity.

    • Ladybug94

      Unfortunately, the mother probably thinks the same way.  I don’t think she would be going through this if she had a positive father active in her life.  I just think this is sad because the girls haven’t had the chance to grow up.  Kids are a big responsibility.  When they start crying and won’t stop they are going to get frustrated.  Adults get frustrated so I know it will be a chanllence for them.  These girls usually are lookingl for love but they are going about it the wrong way.

  • Non pregnancy pacts are everywhere. It’s called the common sense, and good judgement movement. 

    • sweettea

      Pregnant teens are the minority and the teen pregnancy rate has been dropping for years. The kids who don’t get pregnant and stay in school get absolutely no recognition. Everybody just focuses on the eff ups and ignore the ones who want to be successful

  • RF

    Poor parenting!!! Low expectations set by the parents. The child is still a child, parents need to dicuss all aspects of life with their child. Check the history, education, and upbringing of theses parents and you can understand the mind of the child.

  • Melissarose10166

    I refuse to be a statistic! There is nothing cute about having a baby and not being able to take care of him or her. These girls needed to live their lives better. Now, chances are, they are stuck. It’s going to take a whole lot for them to bounce back from having a baby at such a young age. They can never get their teen years back; once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.  This is a #tragicfail. Use your intellect and not your body!

  • Ladybug94

    Mother’s we have got to do better.  It is not cute or funny to teach your daughters how to rump shake in front of the neighborhood while wearing barely nothing while the cousing records it for youtube.  Fast forward a few years and you have these girls in the photo.  Love your kids enough to talk to them about making the best decisions and hopefully Godly decisions.  They will benefit so much more.

  • FromUR2UB

    Some people just accept unnecessary struggle as a part of life. 

    “High school sweethearts that turn into 40-year marriages are a dime a dozen.”    ‘A dime a dozen’ means something is plentiful and easily acquired.

    • Summer

       MN said they are “not a dime a dozen”.

      • FromUR2UB

        It says that now. I had cut and pasted the quote on my earlier post.

  • Mls2698

    They will see how trendy it will be when they are in the # welfarelinewhenthefatherisghost

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    It all starts at home with parenting. If these moms having kids would instill some discipline and pride in their sons and daughters, we’d probably have fewer kids making these same mistakes. . .

    • amen- parents are leaving MTV to raise their kids and this is what happens…

  • NikkitaMichelle

    If I could take a belt to each and every one of those little girls posing in that picture I would.  Sit your fast a$$ down. 

    • Mls2698

      Please do. I hope you have leather belts. Those lil’ girls sending the ” kute pic” text are just pumping them up, then talking about how dumb they are behind their backs.

  • RedButterfly81

    If me or my friends got pregnant in our teens our parents would kill us! My daughter is only 3 years old but it’ll be a cold day in hell if she got pregnant in her teens because I’m not gonna allow that to happen because I want her to go to college and be successful in life. Where are the parents of these teens at? Pregnancy is never a trend and a baby is never an accessory.

    • Ladybug94

      “Where are the parents of these teens”?  I can tell you where they are not.  They aren’t monitoring these girls’ activities or facebook page.  I will even venture to say the mother’s are not talking to the daughters about responsibilities with their bodies and their lives.  I’m not gonna mention the fathers because they are probably somewhere getting someone else pregnant and won’t have time to nurture that child either.

      • RedButterfly81

        You are so right. Parents need to be PARENTS and not their kids’ best friend. This makes me glad my parents were strict and have morals when I was growing up.

      • Qb

        i would go as far to say these girl’s parents were teen parents themselves and haven’t quite grown up either. Babies raising babies. As a product of a teen mother, as my mother grew I grew. What she learned I learned not long after. Luckily my mother wised up after having me and I learned valuable things. For the young ladies above, not so much.

  • awet

    Yes this is sad but I don’t get the sudden outrage or surprise.

    • Because it shouldn’t be happening. It’s common, and it really shouldn’t be. A part of me isn’t shocked, but a part of me also feels like…why would young girls do this? If grown folks with jobs and money go through trials with their babies, what makes it easier for these girls? Maybe that’s why there’s shock–there’s better choices to be made.

    • The outrage is because the jail system depends on dumb broads like this to grow up and raise their kids just the way they need them. Ignorant and dumb. They are just rubbing their hands together right now saying ‘Thank you so much you ignorant teenagers. That’s right keep making those babies. They’ll be behind bars in 15 years!” 

  • Earthspirit

    I can’t with this “trend” ..*shakes head in disgust* …maybe I’m getting up in age (and late with this trend) but when did this become “hot” amongst young girls/teens? What happened to the days of young ladies being taught  about abstinence and/or waiting? Sheesh

    • right?? i agree with you
      I blame the parents- if abstinence is taught in the home- less kids will be falling pregnant- parents should not expect the sex ed teacher to teach their kids about not sleeping around..

      This is really sad smh 🙁

      • Redfernlatisha

        You can not blame all parents for teen pregnancy. My husband and I communicated, stressed, and preached the importance of abstinence, not only to prevent pregnancy but to avoid STD’s, and the meer fact that your body is a temple and virginity a gift to be given to someone who has earned to share in something you can never get back. We both worked but we still had family time, attended church, school functions,etc., unfortunately as children get older, some fall weak to peer pressure and a parents advice is null in void.

      • Ginasings

        I agree with REDFERNLATISHA.  My mother taught me everything, didn’t hold back or sugarcoat nothing.  I still did it!  I was very ashamed of myself and felt like I let the whole world down.  All parents are not to blame.  My youngest daughter leaving her high school years (graduating a year early) found out she was pregnant.  It was a very, hard and stressful pregnancy with many complications and hospitalizations.  She told me in front of everyone, that shewas so sorry and should have listened to me.  her and the father are married, doing very well.  Her son will be 4 this fall and they are not planning any more children soon.  She has a friend who has no parental support at all, is about to have her 4th child and is 22 years old.  This friend keeps telling my daughter she needs to catch up.  My daughter told her she is crazy and need to start focusing on the children she already have.  Some get it, and some don’t.