Illinois Mayor Says No to MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’

By ABC News

Dec 17, 2013 10:46am

ABC News’ Linzie Janis reports:

MTV’s controversial reality show “16 and Pregnant,” which chronicles the hardships of teenage pregnancy and motherhood, is getting the boot from a mayor in Illinois.

Edward Zabrocki, the mayor of the village of Tinley Park, Ill., says he does not want the show to film in his town, a suburb of Chicago, because it sends “the wrong message.”

“I don’t have my head in the sand to think it doesn’t go on in this town; it does,” Zabrocki said of teen pregnancy.  “But let’s not add to the glorification process.

“What’s my 10 minutes in the sun? Five minutes on TV? How do I get on there, get pregnant?  Is that a good message to send out,” he said.

Facebook fan pages devoted to “16 and Pregnant” indicate that one of the characters on the show’s upcoming season lives in the village. Zabrocki has discouraged local businesses from allowing the show’s camera crews in to film.

Each episode of the one-hour show follows a pregnant teen for five to seven months as “she navigates the bumpy terrain of adolescence, growing pains, rebellion, and coming of age; all while dealing with being pregnant,” according to the show’s website.

Supporters of the show challenge the mayor’s contention that “16 and Pregnant” glorifies teen pregnancy.

“I would challenge anyone to actually watch the shows and walk away from them and see anything in their lives that appear to be glamorous,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

“In our view, this is really sex education for the 21st century,” Albert said.

MTV declined to comment.

“It’s unclear how far the mayor will take this fight, but whether he wins or loses, a lot of moms feel he’s sparked an important conversation, one that is affecting a lot of teens out there,” said Erika Souter of the parenting blog TheStir.com.

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