MTV Airing Teen Abortion Special, 'No Easy Decision'

MTV special is a follow-up to "16 and Pregnant"and "Teen Mom."

December 22, 2010, 11:14 AM

Dec. 23, 2010— -- On the heels of its successful reality shows "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Moms," MTV will present another side of teen pregnancy in a special on abortion.

"No Easy Decision," a 30-minute program airing Dec. 28 at 11:30 p.m., will follow former "16 and Pregnant" star Markai Durham as she wrestles with whether to have an abortion after becoming pregnant a second time.

Dr. Drew Pinsky will also talk with two other teens who have dealt with abortion.

As "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" became hits and the young women featured on them became stars, some have criticized MTV for not including stories like those of the 27 percent of pregnant teens who choose to end their pregnancies.

"It just struck me as odd that MTV was taking such care to present this issue responsibly, that it seemed like a glaring gap not talking about abortion," said feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, author of "The Purity Myth," in an interview with "Nearly a third of teen pregnancies end in abortion. They should be represented."

It seems MTV agrees. "It's important we cover every aspect of this issue," the cable network said in a press release, "including focusing on prevention by encouraging widespread use of contraception and making sure young people are aware of the consequences of unprotected sex."

Though MTV has taken an unglamorous approach to teen pregnancy, the young women on its shows have shown up regularly on magazine covers. But the reality is that most teen moms drop out of school and struggle financially.

"I'm looking forward to seeing young, smart women talking about their abortions and how their lives are better because of it -- like they were able to go to college," Valenti said.

The special, like the subject, is sure to be controversial, but Valenti said that's no reason to avoid it. "I think too often abortion is so stigmatized," she said. "The fact is this is a legal procedure."

"It's something we should be constantly talking about, because it's constantly happening," she said.

MTV's Abortion Special, 'No Easy Decision'

To find the young women for the special, MTV partnered with Exhale, an after-abortion counseling hotline (1-866-4 EXHALE) that takes an apolitical or "pro-voice" approach that "honors and respects each person's unique experience with abortion," according to volunteer Erika Jackson.

Exhale launched its "16 and Loved"website to support the young women who will tell their stories next week, as well as women who find the stories resonate with them. The group has been posting messages of support to the women on the special and will be live blogging during the program.

"My grand vision is that everyone who has had an abortion or is in the middle of the decision-making process will know that she's not alone," Jackson told

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