Why you need to watch The Pregnancy Project with your daughter

What’s a girl to do when your mom gets pregnant at age 14 and your sisters quickly follow by getting pregnant as teens, too? Well, if you’re 18-year-old Gaby Rodriguez, you force your school and community confront prejudices and preconceptions about teen pregnancy -- by pretending to be pregnant -- in the new Lifetime movie The Pregnancy Project, premiering this Saturday at 8pm EST.

The real life story is nothing short of surprising. Based on a true story that made national headlines and launched the memoir The Pregnancy Project: I pretended to be pregnant in high school and learned the meaning of family, friends and living beyond stereotypes, Gaby grows a fake baby bump while recording how she is treated at school by friends, family and teachers after they find out she is pregnant.

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In a statement to Publisher’s Weekly, Gaby explains her motivation for the project:

"I wanted to do something that would impact my school and my community, and decided to start with something small, to bring an awareness of teen pregnancy," says Rodriguez of the inspiration for her experiment. "Teen pregnancy is a big problem, and not only in my community. At a time in their lives when teens are becoming sexually active, they need to realize how the decisions they make now will ultimately affect their lives. And those teens who do become pregnant need to know that it’s not the end of the road. They can find support for themselves and their child, and can move forward."

I’m amazed by Gaby’s bravery. In a preview clip that’s available on Lifetime’s Pregnancy Project channel, Gaby fights and consequently breaks up with her boyfriend (one of the few people that knows the truth). I’m even more amazed by the support of her mother and principal in helping Gaby with a project that shed some much-needed light on the issue of teen pregnancy in our community.

With teen pregnancy on the rise in the Latino community (for instance, nearly half of teen births in Connecticut are to Hispanics), this is a movie that we all must be watching.

What do you think about a girl pretending to be pregnant in order to face against teen pregnancy stereotypes?

Image via Lifetime