Give the Girls a Break

What the Gloucester "pregnancy pact" may tell us about changing attitudes on abortion

Mark Garfinkel / Boston Herald / Polaris

A group of Gloucester teens pictured on June 19.

You know you've found a perfect cultural touchstone when everyone brushes past it on the way to opposite conclusions. The tale of the Gloucester High School "pregnancy pact" has exposed many culprits, many causes and much confusion over what it actually tells us about anything larger than the luck and judgment of 18 now infamous teenage girls.

When my TIME colleague Kathleen Kingsbury first quoted Gloucester High principal Joseph Sullivan as saying that the reason pregnancies at his school quadrupled this year was that a group of sophomore girls "made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together," the...

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