MTV is on my mind. I'm not a fan, but they have a show that could be impacting our work. The second season of 16 & Pregnant is well underway, giving viewers an inside peak - reality TV style - of how young girls are deciding to handle unexpected pregnancies.
But it seems there's something unexpected for the producers, too. "Have you noticed," they posted on the show's site, "that not one of the teen girls in this series has opted for abortion, much less seriously considered it upon finding out that she was pregnant? The decision has consistently remained between two alternatives: keep the baby or make an adoption plan."
MTV, who was boggled by this, initiated a poll, asking viewers what they thought about the issue. Fifty-five percent indicated they do not believe in abortion, reflecting a growing trend of more and more young people voicing pro-life convictions. Last week's Gallup poll showed 18- to 29-year-olds are now the most likely, of all age groups, to favor making abortion illegal in all circumstances.
Maybe Holly wood hadn't heard. Surprise!
We're grateful MTV's newly-made stars are taking a stand for life as millions of peers look on. But while some of the young moms find support in their communities, some don't know where to go, and that's painful to see. For instance, 16-year-old Lori Wickelhaus desperately wanted to raise her son but found no support in her family or boyfriend. Reluctantly, she chose adoption, saying she felt trapped into the decision. Why did she not know that 20 minutes away, there's a maternity home that takes young mothers in, empowering them with the resources they need to become parents?
Stories like Lori's are a strong reminder that we need to continue getting the word out. Not just that abortion isn't the answer. Not just that there are other options. But where to find support, so that those alternatives aren't just ideas, but achievable options within arm's reach. Resources like the OptionLine call center, with counselors who can point women in the right direction via phone, e-mail, and even instant messenger, are crucial. If you encounter someone with a crisis pregnancy, please put them in touch with OptionLine.
I also encourage you to flip the channel over to 16 & Pregnant. While you watch, consider if there is a gap you can fill in your local community. Maybe it's volunteering at a maternity home, donating baby items to a crisis pregnancy center, or supporting an adoption agency. With more teens choosing life, now is the time to back them up with a helping hand and let them know: they made the right choice.