Pregnancy

Shoplifting Pregnancy Test Is Just Plain Sad

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16 and pregnantIf you’re one of the two million viewers who tuned into MTV documentary series 16 and Pregnant last year, you already know that the show’s fourth season begins later this month (along with the ever so classy Teen Moms 3). You’re also likely to recognize the name Whitney Purvis, who starred in the show back in 2009. Purvis, now 20, is back in the spotlight once again. That’s because she was arrested in Georgia yesterday after allegedly shoplifting a pregnancy test from her local Walmart.

TMZ reports that Purvis hid a $16 First Response pregnancy test in her hooded jacket and then proceeded to use it in the Walmart restroom. No word on the actual test results, though she did try and sneak out of the store through a side door, where she was busted by security. They called police, who took Purvis to the station and charged her with shoplifting. (Last year, Purvis’ mom also paid a visit to the station for meth possession.)

While it would be easy to make fun of Purvis and most of the moms on these trashy teen-mom shows, I think it’s plain sad that she was desperate enough to shoplift a pregnancy test. Purvis just happens to be a former TV personality, but I’m pretty sure this kind of stuff happens all the time to everyday women (and girls) who find themselves pregnant – or who suspect they may be – yet don’t have access to a pregnancy test. It makes me think what else they don’t have access to, including proper medical care and emotional support. It also makes me wonder if they had access to birth control in the first place.

MTV is constantly being criticized not only for exploiting young and vulnerable teen moms but for choosing “stars” who are forever in trouble with the law. Of course, this all lends itself to high ratings, but now the network is hoping to distance itself from the public backlash, according to reports. That means they’re looking to cast more affluent, “all-American” girls, including high school cheerleaders from well-to-do families.

The only silver lining I can see is that it might show viewers that, wait a minute, you don’t have to come from a trailer park to find yourself pregnant at 16 (imagine that). In the meantime, the Whitney Purvis shoplifting incident should open our eyes to the fact that women desperately need access to birth control and pregnancy tests, plain and simple. You know something’s wrong when a 20-year-old mom is stealing a $16 test from Walmart.