MTV Show 16 and Pregnant Criticized for Not Promoting Teen Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 11, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

MTV Show 16 and Pregnant Criticized for Not Promoting Teen Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 11
, 2010

New York, NY ( — The hit MTV television show "16 and Pregnant" is back for its controversial second season featuring a new slate of pregnant teenage girls and their stories. The network has never been one to shy away from abortion but
one pro-abortion blogger says she’s upset the show doesn’t promote teen abortions.

Blogger Jessica Valenti shows just how pro-abortion the pro-choice movement is because she’s upset the show isn’t promoting teen abortions and, instead, profiles girls who keep their baby.

"Where are the pregnant teens who choose not to stay pregnant? Where are the abortions?" she complains. "If MTV really wanted to prove themselves as responsible programmers, they would also feature pregnant teens who have abortions."

"I realize that it’s controversial to document a teenager who decides to end their pregnancy, but the fact is that nearly a third of all teen pregnancies end in abortion," Valenti says. "But if you were to watch MTV, you’d never know that – you’d think all young women choose to go through with the pregnancy."

Valenti complains that MTV has apparently decided that only teen pregnancies that end in birth are worth covering and that teen pregnancies that finish with the destruction of human life and injuring women aren’t worthy.

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said showing a teenager who had an abortion would trivialize the post-abortion problems many women face because such problems often take years to materialize.

"People are drawn to reality shows because they want to watch how others deal with challenges. The demands of TV require the challenges to be dramatic and concentrated in time," she told

"Like one commentator noted, abortion brings regret. But that’s hard to show on TV. And the consequences may take months or years to exhibit," Wright said.

Wright said MTV’s decision to not include a teenager who has an abortion "indicates that abortion is still not mainstream."

"It is so tragic, so disturbing that TV executives apparently recognize that it would be unappealing to viewers," she said.

MTV may also have shied away from showing teens getting abortions because it recognizes the fact that young Americans are more pro-life than previous generations.

The New York Times, CBS News and MTV itself teamed up for a poll the news agencies released in June 2007 that surveyed 659 Americans between the ages of 17 and 29.

A total of 62 percent of young Americans say abortion should not be permitted (24 percent) or more strictly limited (38 percent). That’s higher than the 58 percent of older adults who give the same answers (split 21 and 37 percent respectively).

The poll also found fewer young Americans saying abortion should be available at any time with 37 percent favoring that compared to 39 percent of older adults.

While older adults favored no abortions or limited abortions by a 19 percent margin, that number rose to a 25 percent margin for the teens and young adults.

And a January 2006 Hamilton College poll found high school seniors take a pro-life position on abortion saying it’s morally wrong and supporting legislative proposals that would limit abortions and help women find alternatives.

The poll also found 72 percent of females in the class of 2006 would not consider an abortion if they became pregnant.

The Hamilton College poll found a majority of high school seniors do not believe abortions should be allowed for sociological reasons such as when women are too poor to afford another child or unable to have a baby at the time.

Meanwhile, an April 2004 Zogby poll found 51.6% of 18-29 year-olds call themselves "pro-life."

"This is remarkable, not just because it confirms that a majority of the post-Roe generation is pro-life, but that they label themselves so," says Holly Smith, director of youth outreach for the National Right to Life Committee.

Though a majority call themselves pro-life, a much larger percentage actually take a pro-life position on abortion.

In the Zogby poll, 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds took one of three varying pro-life positions on abortion while only 39 percent agreed with the three pro-abortion stances.

ACTION: Send your reaction to Jessica Valenti at

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.