Issues: Teenage Pregnancy

Posted on April 16, 2008 Categories

Part of the problem I had when I came to writing this feature is what exactly a teenage pregnancy. Is it anyone who falls pregnant before they turn 20. However, part of the problem is that not everyone who ultimately gets pregnant before that age is exactly adding to the list in that manner. For instance, Kirsty fell pregnant to the man she had married, aged 18 A similiar example would be Angel who was still a teenager when she fell pregnant for the second time. Again she was married and both were workin. Tasha Andrews/Hunter was a teenager when she fell pregnant, but that will be more likely to be included in the cult-powered group rape supreme child issue part. So, after literally minutes of deliberation I arrived on those pregnancies that I felt were most covering the actual issue, rather than being just part of some other storyline.

Within the first year, Home and Away had it's first teenage pregnancy when Alf's daughter, Roo, fell pregnant. She firstly claimed it was Frank's and they set about getting married. However, Auntie Morag rarely lets anything past her and she soon discovered that Frank wasn't the babies father, Brett Macklin was. Roo called the wedding off during the vows, finally telling Frank the truth. After giving birth to Martha, yes, that Martha, Roo put Martha up for adoption, feeling that she was not in a situation to look after the child.

Three years later, and Summer Bay was hit by another teenage pregnancy when Sophie Simpson fell pregnant to Fisher's nephew, David Croft. David was unfortunately killed, whoever not before Sophie had fallen pregnant. She gave birth to Tamara and again thought about giving her up. Mary Croft, David's mother decided that she would look after Tamara and after second thoughts about not being part of Tamara's life, she decide to live with Mary in Perth.

We never saw Angel pregnant with Dylan, when she was probably 14 or so, however we saw the afte effects of it through many of her storylines such as living on the streets after her parents had thrown her out or her custody battles with the Harris' as she wished to make Dylan a part of her life again. As mentioned above, she had a second pregnancy whilst a teenager, but despite the fact by the time she was a widow by the time Shane was born, things had settled down and in a way it wasn't quite a teenage pregnancy storyline.

In 2000, ""Sandy"" King, some oddball teenager that Will became friendly with fell pregnant to some other small part character and gave birth in the drop-in centre. She struggled to bring up the child on her own until Sam decided to start his life with her and pull her out of poverty.

In 2006, Lee Morton fell pregnant to teacher Mr Braeburn. Initially she was forced to give up her child to appease her then boyfriend, Dane, however she soon changed her mind and came back to reclaim Joe from Kim and Rachel. Lately Cassie Turner has fell pregnant when 18, though there has been little mention of this apart from a few comments at the school.

Something we realised putting this together is that hasn't really been a particulalrly young pregnancy on Home and Away, certainly not the 13 year-old efforts soaps like Coronation Street and Eastenders have done in the past ten years, for instance, a storyline that might have seen Matilda fall pregnant in 2005 or Annie fall pregnant this year.

At the same time, the role of the father's have laterally been one of those sex-hungry men who have a tiny part in the storyline and ultimately play no part in their child's upbringing. Arguably, it's been a while since Home and Away covered this topic in a meaningful way.

Selina briefly fell pregnant to Damian Roberts on a night of passion after Angel and Shane's wedding. However, she miscarried six weeks in, leaving both devestated.