MTV is airing a new program called “No Easy Decision” that features a former cast member from “16 and Pregnant” who decides whether or not to have an abortion.
The program is drawing national attention because abortion is not usually presented on television and of course it is an extremely volatile subject especially where I live in the “Bible Belt.”
A young black woman named Markai, who was on an earlier episode of the teen pregnancy show and is already the mother of one child, becomes pregnant again. The special aired on December 28 at 11:30 p.m. and will follow Markai through her emotional decision of whether to have her baby.
I believe the country may finally see more about abortion decisions and even more about the abortion process itself than they may have ever seen anywhere before. And judging by the news coverage of the program this week it is forcing a serious dialogue.
The “16 and Pregnant” program has been a ratings bonanza for MTV and many Hollywood and media blogs have focused on that fact, saying the decision to concentrate on abortion may be an attempt to snag more.
But when reality television meets teen pregnancy, has MYV gone too far?
I don’t think so, I believe the program shows that today’s society and its views are a far cry from the days when pregnant teens were packed up and sent away. Just a few decades ago, early pregnancy was seen as a stain on a family that was often elaborately hidden. All of us from that generation know a story or two of girls who went away to live with family elsewhere.
Here is MTV’s stance on the matter
“‘MTV has a long history of reflecting the lives of our viewers with compelling reality stories,’ Tony DiSanto, MTV’s president of programming, said in a statement. ‘16 & Pregnant’ follows the journey of six young women going through an immensely life-changing experience at such a young age. Each episode tells a new, unique story and shows the real-life challenges they face from dealing with family and friends to school and finances as new mothers. This is the real secret life of an American teenager.”
Of course this “true life” style of docudrama, not a manufactured situation, could make an uncomfortable time in their lives unbearable.
Some Pro-Life advocates point out that the show’s website only links to pro-abortion groups, including the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, which promotes sexual education over abstinence, and the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
On the other hand, it is encouraging to have a show discuss pregnancy in an honest and open manner.
Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told reporters that she applauded the idea. “The stories in ’16 & Pregnant’ are full of hope, heartbreak,and real-life consequences and should be a must viewing for teens nationwide.”
If it’s as honest and supportive as she seems to think, perhaps it will be a constructive addition to the conversation.
What do you think?