Washington County Teens Planned to Get Pregnant

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD - The Community Free Clinic is working with some pregnant teens who were part of a group of six girls at a local high school that decided they wanted to get pregnant and have babies together.

"We're seeing teens that actually really would like to be pregnant and have children," says Shalom Black Lane, executive director of Teens Have Choices. "And they believe that this is sort of a cool thing to do."

The clinic first discussed the group of girls at a meeting with the Board of Education. They say the girls were "on a mission" to get pregnant, and had multiple partners.

But those who work with teens say students getting pregnant on purpose actually isn't unusual.

"It tends to be one of the causes we can point to, making it cool to have a kid when you're a teenager," says Lane.

The clinic is counseling the girls and keeping the school they go to confidential. But they say there are pregnant students at most Washington County high schools.

"I don't think any of us is naive to the fact that we do have teens who are pregnant in our community but when you see an increase like we saw, I was certainly surprised," says Justin Hartings, president of the Board of Education.

The girls are part of a growing number of pregnant teens in the area. So far this school year, 34 Washington County students are reported to be pregnant, a sharp rise from last year.

"The schools are just one part of a broader community conversation that we need to have about how we can address this problem," says Hartings.

Officials encourage teens who are pregnant to visit the Community Free Clinic, at 4 p.m. on Thursdays. The service is completely confidential.

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