If you thought MTV needed a counterweight to Teen Mom for girls who have made other choices, check out No Easy Decision, its new abortion special — featuring Markai from 16 And Pregnant.
It airs December 28, in a rather inconspicuous time slot: 11:30pm. We guess that's better than nothing. Also, inevitably, Dr. Drew is involved.
"Its Not A Baby At All Until I Think You 3rd Trimester (I Could Be Mistaken) Its Only A Fetus Which Means Its Only A GROUP OF CELLS TRYING TO FORM INTO SOMEONE. && Its Not Our Right To Judge Wo…men / Girls Who Do Get An Abortion. Thats Like Judging Someone Because There Gay Or Black Or Whatever. Its Not Right For People To Lash Out At Women/ Girls Who Made The Right Decision For Them && Their Family. Point Blank. && Even Though They Have Created SOMETHING That CAN Be The Most Beautiful Thing. SOMETIMES Women/ Girls Aren't Ready For That Big Of A Responsibilty. NO MATTER IF THEY OPENED THEIR LEGS / PANTS."
The series have only occasionally dealt with abortion. Here's what Jenelle from the second season of 16 & Pregnant wrote of her decision to have her baby:
I chose to keep Jace because it was my responsibility. I was the one who had sex. If I gave him up for adoption, I would have felt selfish because I knew I could have taken care of him. And abortion just sounded so harsh.
When my mom found out I was pregnant, she really pushed for me to have an abortion. She tried to explain how hard it was going to be to raise a child. A couple of months later, when it was too late for an abortion, she suggested adoption. Regardless, I stressed to her that neither of those plans were an option for me. (I honestly thought it was going to be a piece of cake taking care of a baby! The reality? It's like having only 24 hours to swim across the world.)
Another girl who appeared on the show, Emily, was kicked out of her mother's house when she refused to get an abortion. (She moved in with her father).
Even before No Easy Decision airs, MTV has wisely gotten the pro-choice community involved. They've partnering with Exhale, a non-judgmental counseling service for women who have had abortions, which has launched 16AndLoved, a site where viewers can express their support for Markai and the two other young women to be featured.
There are already affirmations on the site — think of them as an inoculation against the inevitable judging, hatred, and conversion attempts these girls are undoubtedly going to face once the show airs.
Kudos and blessings to these girls for sharing their stories! An unplanned pregnancy is a difficult, life-changing experience, and no choice surrounding it can be made easily. I want to point out that for many woman, having an abortion is a responsible choice. It's certainly not easy, but for a struggling mother, ending a second unplanned pregnancy allows her to more aptly provide for her first child.
So to Markai, I want to say: I support you and the decision you made. I know it wasn't easy. It is clear to me that you are a strong woman who cares deeply for her child. I'm inspired by the courage and grace with which these women tell their stories. They are the voices of over 45 million other women who have had abortions. I'm one of them, too. Stay strong and keep working to become the women you've always wanted to be! With love and support, Julie
They've also gotten feminist bloggers like Jessica Valenti, Lynn Harris, and Steph Herold (disclosure: all friends of the site and this writer) to live-blog or tweet the show. There will also be a Women's Media Center watch-in.
Related: Did Markai From 16 & Pregnant Have An Abortion? [Crushable]