Everybody is tied in a knot over what message Jamie Spears' teenage pregnancy will send to girls between the ages of 8 and 14. Here's one message: You can pretty much do what you want when you're rich.
On the other hand, if Baby Sister Spears were living on a desert island without the encumbrances of the moral majority, a voracious media, a stupid mother, a bipolar sister, a children's network contract, and a boatload of money, her pregnancy would be a non issue. If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? If a sixteen year old pregnant girl lives alone on a desert island, is there a story?
Not until it's time to deliver the baby. Given her body's lack of maturity and her small size, chances are little Miss Spears would have a difficult labor. At a top tier medical center hers might even be considered a high risk pregnancy. But out there on the desert island there ain't no neo natal types hanging out under the palm trees. Nope, she's going to have nothing to help her and the baby get through the birth but sand and coconuts. Okay, the father of her spawn can be there. Like that helps.
Chances are very high that Jamie or the baby, or both Jamie and the baby, would die in childbirth. It's her first baby, she's very young, her body is immature. Yep, death is an option. So are cerebral palsy, skull fractures, dislocated limbs, and many other possibilities.
I think we forget that the greatest threat to a woman or baby's life, before the world had antibiotics, emergency c-sections, and more monitors than a NASA space flight, was surviving childbirth.
Nowadays women don't expect to die while having a baby. Ah, but there are so many other ways for babies to put an end to your life as you knew it without having to kill you.
So to help young girls understand that babies are not dolls you can put away in the closet when you're tired of playing with them, Mrs. Linklater in her infinite wisdom, has created a new video game called, "SO YOU WANT TO HAVE A BABY."
Just slide the DVD into the player and follow the instructions:
First attach the YES AND NO sensors to the inside of your knees. You will be given a series of questions to answer. If your answer is YES, spread your knees far apart. If your answer is NO, close your knees tightly together. You will receive a score for each right answer and be docked for each incorrect answer. At the end of the game the player with the highest score gets to have a life.
Let's begin. . .
1. Do you think you're old enough to have a baby? NOTE: If you still sleep with stuffed animals, answer NO.
2. Have you ever had sex? If you answered YES and you are under 14, stop playing the game and ground yourself for the next three years.
3. If a boy said he loved you would you believe him? If you answered NO, score 50 points. If you answered YES, lie down with your legs in the air for the rest of the game.
4. Which is more important -- doing your homework or having a boyfriend? Oh, wait that's not a yes or no question. Okay, if you think the answer is homework, give yourself 400 points. If you think having a boyfriend is more important than doing your homework, then don't come crying to your mother when he asks you to get a Brazilian. Assuming you're old enough to need one. In which case, subtract 700 points.
Mrs. Linklater will be back to post more of this exciting new game as soon as she can think up some more questions. Feel free to contribute some of your own.