Smarmy Alligator

Politics, pop culture, and self-deprecation

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Hm. I just read this article in the New York Times, a lengthy profile of a high school girl headlined “For a Promising but Poor Girl, a Struggle Over Sex and Goals.” It’s kind of scattered and unfocused, and not the most well-written thing I’ve read in the Times, but definitely interesting for what it says about poverty, about education, and about sexuality.

Just two things I found interesting: for all the discussion about teenage pregnancy, and the way it can completely derail lives and plans, there were only two mentions, both oblique and unexamined, of abortion. Teenage pregnancy wouldn’t derail lives so much if those pregnancies were terminated more often. I’m a staunch supporter of abortion rights, and I think we need to be much more open and unafraid of abortion as an option. Unplanned pregnancies can fuck up your entire life, but they don’t have to. I think it’s interesting that the tone throughout this article paints pregnancy as some kind of looming monster waiting to attack if you let your guard down for even a moment, with no hope in sight once it does. When you realize abortion is an option, when you realize that you have control over your own body, pregnancy ceases to be such a threat. The entire tone of the article would have changed were abortion more frankly addressed. And I’m off my soap box now.

Oh, the other interesting thing, getting much shorter mention by me, but worth pondering: most teenage pregnancies are fathered by men much older than the pregnant girl. That is referred to in this article as “predatory.” Maybe it is. It’s also an historical precedent, and it’s interesting that it hasn’t changed much. Yet. Viva la revolucion!

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Written by laura k

March 8, 2004 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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