17 High School Teens Pregnant After Secret Pact

High fives over positive tests spark Mass. birth control battle
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2008 3:21 AM CDT
A teenage mother carries her baby through a school hallway in this file photo. 17 girls are pregnant as part of a pact to raise their kids together in Gloucester, Mass.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A pact among teenage girls to get pregnant has resulted in 17 pregnancies at a single Massachusetts high school—and sparked a debate in the conservative Catholic fishing town about birth control and available career options, reports Time magazine. Officials began to get wise to the secret pact when girls flooded the high school clinic for pregnancy tests last fall—and high-fived each other after positive results.

One father is a homeless man. The discovery of the pact has triggered a battle between school health staff seeking to provide contraceptives without parental permission and town officials still pushing to limit birth control access. Gloucester high school students have on-site daycare for their babies—but must travel 20 miles to a women’s health clinic which provides contraceptives.