Why did they do it? The quote I used in the title is from Carolyn Kirk, the mayor of the town, Gloucester, Massachusetts. Does she really know why the girls did it? She's dishing out the cliché reason why young girls have babies, but how can your life be empty if you have 16 dedicated friends?
ADDED: Of the 17, "nearly half became pregnant after making a pact to do so and raise the children together." We don't know how many may have been in on the pact who did not become pregnant. So I'm speculating about how many friends these girls really had. It could happen that many girls would join such a pact in an effort to win favor from other girls, not because they were really true friends. Eh, for all I know the pact was b.s. made up after the fact.
IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O. writes:
What is frustrating is that by emphasizing the stock response to this they, the officials and likely the church leaders, miss the really key part: "They think that a baby can give them love or give them status or fill an empty space in their life."
What is the point of having churches around if not responding to these precise feelings? That's what churches should be emphasizing — helping these girls find love, and acceptance, and status and fill the empty space in their lives. If churches aren't doing that then they should really just shut up, their words and their doors, because clearly they've missed the point of their message and existence.
Instead of arguing about contraceptives or debating yet more sex education what about responding to the core issue of their self-value. This story isn't about sex and these girls are certainly responsible for their own decisions, but they're also victims of their elders who have decided policies, whether liberal or conservative, are more interesting than people.