MTV to air teen abortion special, with Dr. Drew Pinksy as counselor

Given the popularity of MTV reality shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, this latest addition seems kind of inevitable. They’re going to air a special focusing on one the 16 and Pregnant girls who is pregnant for the second time and considering abortion. They’ll also talk to other teens who had abortions, with Dr. Drew Pinsky giving them his unique brand of superficial famewhore counseling.

After documenting dozens of teen mothers’ heart-wrenching stories via its hit 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom series, MTV will tackle the sensitive issue of abortion with a separate special called No Easy Decision, EW has learned exclusively. The special, airing Dec. 28 at 11:30 p.m., will follow one former 16 and Pregnant subject, Markai, as she wrestles with the decision after becoming pregnant for a second time. Dr. Drew Pinsky will also talk with young women who, like 27 percent of teens who end up with unplanned pregnancies, have chosen to end them. MTV sources say the documentary will tackle all sides of the issue, including the importance of contraception and the devastating effects of facing such a decision.

[From EW via ONTD]

My gut reaction to this is “no.” I’m pro-choice and it’s not about the abortion issue at all. I just feel that MTV should give these type of shows a rest. Yes they’re chronicling a very common phenomenon and attempting to make teen pregnancy into a teachable moment. At the same time, they’re creating young stars out of these mothers. Even if teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption and raising babies are shown as incredibly difficult and undesirable (and having watched Teen Mom I can say that they are portrayed that way), the very nature of these shows belies their supposed message. It’s like “don’t have unprotected sex” and “don’t get pregnant,” but if you do you have a chance of getting on MTV and becoming famous. This 16 year-old girl, Markai, earned a whole spinoff special by getting pregnant again. We’ve seen these girls on tabloid covers for the past year and now they’re pulling stunts to extend their fifteen minutes. This is about ratings for MTV, not about highlighting a social issue.

Here’s a 16 and Pregnant trailer for the most recent season. Markai fights with her boyfriend at around 1:20. She hits him and says “I hate you” [via Starcasm]. You can watch Markai’s 16 and Pregnant episode on if you’re in the US.


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54 Responses to “MTV to air teen abortion special, with Dr. Drew Pinksy as counselor”

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  1. DetRiotgirl says:

    I agree. I wish they would just stop this whole series of pregnancy shows. There are too many rewards being offered to these girls for doing the wrong thing.

  2. LittleDeadGirl says:

    … and one of the first signs of the appocalyspe comes to pass -rolls eyes- Christ I’m pro choice too but this is too far. I think the teen pregnancy show is too far as well and not because I give a shit about these girls or boys, I don’t, most of them are over the age of 16 and in my mind close enough to adults that it’s up to them but they are creating/destroying a human life for ratings. At some point in time we have to draw the line to what we shouldn’t air on tv or watch.

  3. Westcoaster says:

    What happened to MTV just airing music videos? Reality television has officially jumped the shark

  4. Diane says:

    When will this sh*t stop? It’s sickening.

  5. Uzi says:

    I too am sick of seeing these unwed teenage mothers on every magazine cover, and don’t understand why the public wants to watch tv shows about them. What ever happened to birth control and personal responsibility? And how sad that Dr. Drew has to do what their loser parents should be doing. I feel sorry for their babies.

  6. December says:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve seen pictures of aborted fetuses/babies, and it’s not a pretty picture.

    This girl should give her child up for adoption. There’s plenty of people who’d be willing to pay her medical bills and whatever else to adopt that child.

    I’m a strong advocate of adoption, mainly because I was born in the Ukraine, 1989, and at that time, the government was pushing for women to get abortions. My birth mother instead put me up for adoption, and here I am today.

    I’m not against abortion, because I do think it’s a woman’s right to choose, and sometimes I think that’s a right choice, considering on the person who’s going to be the parent. However, it really should be the last choice you should come up with.

    I really don’t think they should air this on television though. This is something that should definitely be kept private. It’s not like she’s asking some mundane thing like which plastic surgery operation should she get.

    This is a critical life choice, one that’s going to be with her the rest of her life.

    Plus, the Pro-Life people are going to get all up in arms over this. -_-;

  7. anon says:

    Dr Drew again 🙁
    Not entertainment
    It is a woman’s right to choose and should be private, this is a young girl; in the near future she may regret this exploitation which is what it is, oy
    Totally agree with celebitchy “I just feel that MTV should give these type of shows a rest” STAT

  8. lisa says:

    MTV had found a cash cow. These shows are bringing in HUGE ratings. NOW we have teens getting pregnant and having babies and them becoming Tabloid cover stories. These young girls are getting equal or more coverage then the “STARs” They are getting magazine covers, interviews, spots on TV shows. hmmmm What teen would turn that attention down.

    This is just sad and it will not end as long as the ratings are high. People are watching. Teens are watching.. Preteens are watching.. That is the scary part.

  9. Johnny Depp's Girl says:


  10. francesca says:

    If there is nothing wrong about having an abortion – why care if they show it on tv?

  11. gee says:

    They’re glamourizing abortion.

  12. mln76 says:

    @ December although I appreciate your story, and I am also glad you realize it doesn’t take away a woman’s right to choose.
    This should be kept private though, I am afraid this show trivializes everything and encourages kids to think of this as just another “thing” which it absolutely is not.

  13. Roma says:

    I’m beyond pro-choice though I was born to a teen mom and placed up for adoption. Growing up I was always torn about this type of situation: If I got pregnant, would I have an abortion or would I place it up for adoption? I struggled with the thought a lot because the choices were incredibly personal to me.

    So I decided the easiest way to make the choice was to not get pregnant. I took my birth control every day and practiced safe sex. Decision averted.

    I get that the best way to not get pregnant is to not have sex but if you don’t educate these girls and they give in to their natural hormones, they’re going to get pregnant. Why can’t abstinence be taught in tandem with safe sex?

  14. Bill Hicks is God says:

    Pro-Choice all the way but I don’t believe these girls are being presented with adequate options for one and; an MTV contract certainly shouldn’t be one of them.

    @Francesa, you don’t want to see an abortion. On TV or elsewhere.

    @Uzi, that “loser” parent could very likely be a single mother working two jobs and is never home. Where. Are. The. Fathers?

    Now when people talk about giving up babies for adoption, the fact is that people who adopt, usually, want babies of their own background (or resembling that background).

    Additionally, public child welfare agencies if they don’t outright refuse to do so, are extremely reluctant to place babies in a mixed household. For example (in Canada), Catholic Children’s Aid doesn’t place babies with Jewish Family Services and vice-versa. Same thing with Native Child & Family Services.

    And despite the exposure and glamourous aspect presented to the public by the Jolie-Pitts, Madonna etc. it is very difficult to place children of African descent into adoptive homes. Sometimes these children are born drug-addicted; here, many Native children that go into the child welfare system are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. They’re not the “pick of the crop” for most adoptive parents. They involve a lot of time, patience, rehabilitation and in the US adoptive parents have to consider the health care costs.

    This is a topic that can go back and forth forever. I don’t know what the solution is but I agree that glamourizing termination of a pregnancy is reprehensible. It’s a physically invasive procedure, certainly not without risk and the emotional repercussions can be tremendous.

    This just reinforces my view that Pinsky is a repellent individual.

  15. guesty says:

    kinda surprised they decided to air this hot-button issue…really didn’t think anyone would agree to go there publicly.

  16. Kait says:

    I am incredibly pro choice and I’m an adoptive parent (four times over!)

    It’s not as easy as “tell her to adopt the baby out”. It’s NEVER that easy. Markai is probably facing tremendous pressure from family, friends, and her baby daddy. From personal experience, I can understand how a lot of girls think they’ll have an abortion and the problem will just go away as opposed to carrying the baby for nine months and allowing someone else to leave the hospital with that child. Especially since Markai already has a child – how would she explain that to both of those kids some day? How would she explain that she kept one and didn’t keep the other?

    As pro choice as I am and as good as I think it is to have these honest conversations with pregnant teens, I hate Dr Drew. He glosses over everything – look at how he smoothed over Amber abusing Gary on Teen Mom. He’s not going to ask the hard questions and force her to really honestly examine her options. He’s going to play it for ratings and gently step around all the tough issues inherent in questioning what to do about an unplanned (and possibly unwanted) pregnancy.

  17. Delta Juliet says:

    Wow…we sure have come a long way in our society haven’t we? Now, women who slut arund with married men are heralded as celebrites, and young girls who get knocked up have their own television shows. WTF is wrong here? I can only imagine what the furture holds……why get an education and work for a living when you can f*#@ your way to a fortune.

  18. Roma says:

    @Bill Hicks is God: What you’re saying in regards to each adoption service operating in Canada is true, but you are talking about the public process (which is 8+ years here). I think our situation with Native Canadians and FAS is someone unique though similar to crack babies being born in the states.

    But in this case most are suggesting a private adoption process. For the most part MTV is featuring girls who are not drinking or on drugs (at least until the baby is born. I’m looking at you, Amber). Any of these girls would be able to chose the prospective parents and would almost be guaranteed to have a multitude to choose from.

  19. Cheyenne says:

    Kait: I’ve worked in foster care and adoption for decades and your comment is spot-on. Excellent post.

  20. Teri says:

    there are no morals in the world anymore and i think dr drew is no better then dr phill..i can see hi brain washing his patients just to keep them fucked up to keep his face on tv

  21. Kas says:

    I agree that it’s about MTV ratings, and I am sure there are girls trying to get on the show.

    But I disagree that the special shouldn’t be on the air. That option doesn’t get put out there much on the MTV shows, and it’s part of the equation. I’d like it to be on air and at least put it out there.

    For all the girls using this show in a negative way, I think there are probably some that are also using it in a positive way.

  22. Bill Hicks is God says:

    @Roma, thanks for pointing that out. The thing that bothers me about private agencies is that money does change hands. That bugs me but if a child finds a good home, that definitely doesn’t so I’m a little torn there.

    As for the MTV aspect, I really hope you’re right. Here’s hoping so at least.

  23. MNGIRL76 says:

    I have watched all of Teen Mom ( not proud of myself) and I hate how they made stars out of these girls! the intention was good,but come on! You know these girls are getting a grip of $ from MTV & all the rag mags! Please! I’m supposed to buy that they are struggling?

  24. jc126 says:

    UGH. This is a HORRIBLE idea. MTV may not be “glamorizing” teen pregnancy, motherhood, or pregnancy termination, exactly, but I totally believe in this famewhore, anything-for-TV exposure and time of recession, there are probably teens trying to get pregnant to get on Teen Mom/16&P.
    WRT this show, I think MTV has no business putting this very private decision on TV. This dipshits are teenagers and may not fully understand what revealing such personal stuff on TV could do to them long-term: anti-abortion types harassing them, people they know silently shunning them, etc. And it’s just not the world’s business, frankly.

  25. meilamon says:

    I can’t believe she is pregnant again. Her baby is maybe a year old. I had my first child at 18, and if I was irresponsible before having him with birth control, I certainly wasn’t after. I remember being terrified to get pregnant again. I got on birth control 6 weeks later, and faithfully took it until we got married. Then we got pregnant almost 3 years later.
    BTW, I got my birth control free. She could have too! I swear, these girls are writing their own Maury episode, this is their Harelequin romance. And the children are the ones to pay for it. Totally depressing

  26. Chrissy says:

    Interesting that a report was just released that we are at an all-time low for the teen birth rate. I know the show “Teen Mom” or “16 and Pregnant” would be enough to keep me from wanting to get pregnant so early.

  27. bellaluna says:

    Abortion is not “birth control.” It is a last result, to be used when/if birth control has failed. From what I’ve seen, birth control is not high on these teenagers’ lists.

    I am not anti-abortion, but there are too many other forms of birth control available (yes, for free!) to call abortion “birth control.”

    Abortion has never been more than a remote option for me – I just couldn’t live with myself if I made that choice – but I would not deny another woman the ability to make that choice.


    /end rant

  28. original kate says:

    MTV needs to stop milking teen pregnancy, TLC needs to stop milking multiple births and drew pinksy just needs to stop.

  29. Isabel says:

    NO. No no no no no no no no no.
    STOP IT!

    There is nothing left to “learn” about knocked up teenagers. NOTHING! Are we assuming that the current generation of teenaged kids are so stupid that only an MTV documentary can reach them? Shit, it can’t even “reach” the stars themselves if they’re still getting pregnant. WTF! STOP IT! EVERYBODY STOP IT!!!!!!!

  30. MissyA says:

    No. Just. No.

    These girls are too young and too stupid to realize they’re being exploited – they just see the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

    I wouldn’t trust Dr. Drew to watch my cats, let alone council vulnerable teenagers. I’ve see the way he “counseled” Heidi Fleiss after allowing her abusive ex Tom Sizemore on the set of Sober House. The man is a misogynistic creep and famewh*re. He parlays human misery into his own bank account. Scum of the earth.

    I’m pro-choice and this is just despicable.

  31. Hakura says:

    I completely cosign with Bill Hicks Is God.

    The moral aspect aside, they *are* exploiting this girl. & seeing as MTV wouldn’t have a ‘special’ unless she goes through with the abortion, I doubt she was given the totally necessary extensive counselling on all the options.

    But the worst part of that is that one day, she’s going to realize something incredibly private and difficult, (that will likely cause her a great deal of emotional pain, & the need to explain her decision to her other child…) will have been broadcast to the entire world. And will still exist in some from, either as a recording, or god forbid on the internet somewhere, forever.

    She’ll go in for job interviews someday, and someone will say “OH! You’re the one who got knocked up *twice* as a teenager, and got an abortion on tv!’ Or even worse, her other child could stumble upon it online.

    This is just awful. =(

  32. The Hamm is My Dream Man says:

    I can’t stand this show-I watched it one time and never again.

    I didn’t have sex until I was 20 years old-and when I did I was on birth control AND used a condom. My mom was a single mother. We lived in a crappy area. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. I was scared shitless to get pregnant. I’m still scared. I’m 24 and have a stable job and am frightened of raising a child at this age.

    BY giving them a television show, they are rewarding irresponsibility. Do they think MTV is going to be there 5 years from now? 10 years from now? How are they going to support themselves and their children when they barely graduate high school?

  33. Hakura says:

    @Hamm (#33)- ITA. I’m also 24, and feel *exactly* the way you do about the idea of getting pregnant. I was also ‘scared shitless’ of the possibility, and determined to do whatever I could to prevent that from happening. (I actually had nightmares about getting pregnant, and how terrified I was.) I *still* feel that 24 is young to be a mother, even with a job.

    I was also in my 20’s before I made the decision to have a physical relationship, and was careful to use both birth control pills *&* a condom. I just can’t understand what’s so hard to understand about ’cause & effect’. It isn’t difficult to prevent this sort of mess.

  34. MaiGirl says:

    I wish there was a way to revoke “Dr.” Drew’s license for his clear lack of ethics. He is absolute scum.

  35. judyjudy says:

    This hurts my heart.

    Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum about these things politically, morally, ethically, whatever, an abortion is a very, very sad thing. It breaks my heart that MTV is using it for entertainment. Sure, they’ll call it educational and a public service, but we all know that it is being done for ratings. It makes me want to throw up and cry.

  36. cprincess says:

    Well the politicians exploit abortion for their own purposes-why not MTV?
    I agree with the some of the other posters here-what the hell happened to birth control so they dont get pregnant to start with??
    The most disturbing thing about all this is that a decision that should be made in private between a woman and her physician has become ratings fodder…Im already incensed when I see the christian right pro life nutcases who lets face could care less about the fetus once its born will use this to incite more fanaticism…
    Abortion must remain private and legal but sometimes when women are faced with an unwanted pregnancy its not such a hard decision -its a very simple procedure in the first trimester and the feeling aftewrwards is one of relief….

  37. Bee says:

    I fully support a woman’s right to choose. And while I’m also sick of specials depicting/glamorising teen pregnancy. I’m happy to see a show finally tackling abortion.

    1/3 of women will have an abortion in their lifetime. And it’s time television depicted that reality. Abortion is rarely, if ever, dealt with in the media (television, movies). And if it is addressed it’s usually in the context of a woman “suddenly” deciding, usually while in an abortion clinic(i.e. Juno, Sex and the City, Mad Men, etc.), not to have an abortion. Which is just ridiculous, and reinforces the notion that “good women” don’t get abortions.

    If this special is done right I will applaud it for actually dealing with the issue of abortion, instead of just ignoring it as most of the media does.

  38. Seer says:

    No one seems to like the idea of this show (I agree – the idea is disgusting!) so why are they still showing this crap?

  39. Hakura says:

    @Bee (#38)- I think, if they wanted to tackle the issue of abortion in a socially responsible, respectable way… they should have documented the experience with a woman who’s an adult. Being a teenager having an abortion just makes it sound like an ‘easy way out’ for someone who panics as a result of being pregnant at a young age. (Which obviously isn’t the message that should be sent.)

    And also ties in the ‘taboo’ aspect of a teenager being sexually active & ‘becoming pregnant’ in the first place, which I think is going to distract from the real issues involved in abortions, in some ways. There are many reasons why people opt for abortion that should be covered (regardless of one’s opinion of abortion, even I find myself torn in many cases.).

  40. Dingles says:

    While there is definitely a big “ugh” factor about this and Dr. Drew needs to learn the virtue of not talking, I do think it’s a positive step that abortion is being discussed on tv at all. There are a million shows out there about pregnancy but I can’t think of a single show or special that focuses on this issue that affects millions of young women every year.

    Even if these girls get involved with the show just to be in front of a camera, the fact that they’re sharing their stories may help make abortion less of a taboo topic and dispel some of the myths that are still perpetuated. I don’t consider that glorification, I consider it education.

  41. shy says:

    I’m with Maigirl on the revoking the Dr’s licensce. I live in Southern California and I remember finding a flyer for a Dr Drew show which was for teenagers to talk about their fantasies. He wanted to do a show where teenagers talked about incest and worse. It made me want to wretch. The town where I’m from wanted were pretty pissed that his people would pass out this stuff to underage kids. Talk about inappropriate. Anything for ratings, huh, Dr. Creep?

  42. Kim says:


    ABORTION AS ENTERTAINMENT???? REALLY PEOPLE?! This is sick, Dr Drew is sick if he does this show and the producers at MTV are EVIL! They will do ANYTHING for show popularity – they are sick puppies!

  43. Hakura says:

    @Shy (#42)- Wow. You’d really think that sort of thing would be illegal… It sounds like he’s trying to use his title of ‘Doctor’ as an excuse to exploit people, especially teenagers.

    If he weren’t ‘Dr.’ Drew, he’d be charged with some sort of indecency, or even some kind of sexual crime regarding children. But he gets away with it by claiming to be ‘treating’ them, or acting as therapy. What a disgusting human being.

  44. UNBELIEVABLE says:

    I’m beginning to think that there needs to be Congressional hearing in to this show. These girls are being taken advantage of in a BIG way for profit b/c of the ratings they bring in…lack of counseling and “Dr. FRAUD DREW, etc. and I know that since MTV is not on public airwaves MTV doesn’t have FCC licensing, but something is VERY wrong….these are MINORS…and showing abortions on TV’s…some sort of HIPPA laws have to have been violated…or something. Congress or Attorneys Generals need to look into to see if at all any laws were broken re: statutory rape b/c of the age of consent some were 15 and happily proclaimed they were sleeping with their much older bf’s; MTV would be an accessory after the fact. This show is getting out of hand. And don’t get me started on Teen Mom and how they did NOTHING while the children were present during domestic violence issues and while others were practically being injured. MTV is pure filth.

  45. Jennifer says:

    Actually, if they’re going to cover adoption cases and keeping it cases, I’m glad to see we’re not just completely ignoring the fact that there IS a third choice, if the woman wants it: abortion. As much as you don’t like to hear someone got an abortion, it sure would be a better choice in a lot of these cases.

  46. Kimberly says:

    MTV is giving a real life sex ed class.

    While some immature people may consider these kids as “celebrities”, many more do learn something from watching what others go through. Disappointing that a kid would get pregnant twice, as a teen, can teach lessons to others.

    I say show a special, but not a series. Something a bit less sensational amd TV show like.

    You know Dr. Drew does help teens and young adults. He’s been educating them for decades now and he hasn’t really changed his tactics, so why the back-lash now? How prude have we become? Or is EVERY parent educating their kids pn sex and being healthy?

    He teaches the people whose parents don’t. You’d think people would like a source that you can believe, or at least make sense out of.

  47. kelly says:

    I am 100% militantly pro choice; having had a termination in my early twenties and being grateful to this day that I had the opportunity to do so, I can tell you that all discussion of the issue is a good thing.
    Let’s not tapdance around this shit. It’s never a happy time and you can’t have too much information about it. if shows like this help one girl make a better choice, they’re inadvertently constructive.
    I agree that these shows are tacky in their construction and intent, but particularly in the US where the whole abstinence thing seems to be *ho ho* working out so well, they may be the only source of information for many stupid fornicating teenagers. Most of them were going to get pregnant if there was a camera pointed at them or no, so calm down about that. If teenagers are engaging with these shows and spending one moment of their day thinking about these issues then I can’t condemn them.

  48. Hakura says:

    @Kelly (#48)- I just worry for this girl. She’s so young, and it’s *such* a major decision to make. It’s a private, painful, difficult matter, and even if seeing the process *did* have an educational spin, the welfare of *this* girl should be more important. This is *her* life, and her pregnancy.

    I’m not saying abortion should be off limits for a serious educational documentary, only that it should be following an adult (even a very young adult) through the process, instead of a teen.

    @Kimberly (#47)- I do respect your opinion, I just respectfully disagree.

    His tactics just don’t sit well with me. A lot of the things he does and says (especially of late) has appeared to be much more about gaining him attention… (speaking about people he knows nothing about, using his title of ‘doctor’ to give his opinion ‘weight’ when making public statements he has no business making in the first place, as though he’d actually treated these people)…than actually helping anyone.

    It’s just hard not to see some of his actions in regards to teenagers as using sensationalism to gain himself publicity, and improve his ‘career’ as a tv ‘doctor’. (or just stroke his ego, no sexual pun intended). He seems so concerned about being ‘seen’ & ‘heard’.

  49. bee says:

    KATE: you said it.

  50. sarah says:

    I do watch Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant AND I’m pro choice. This “abortion” show is a terrible idea. Making the choice to have an abortion or not is a personal, private decision. This is RIDICULOUS.

  51. Call Me Al says:

    I agree with Dingles. So many young girls don’t know what their options are. These shows may highlight some of these options. Maybe they could do a special where the mother chooses adoption as well.

  52. UNBELIEVABLE says:

    There is backlash now b/c these girls are auditioning with the hopes of getting on tv. that’s the disgusting part. do they get specific counseling by Dr. Drew? No, they don’t. not until the reunion special. that’s the sickening part…and for the most part, these girls are socioeconomically disadvantaged with a small exception. Their ending interview ALL of the girls say they wish that they had never gotten pregnant. In the beginning, they are so excited b/c they will be a family with the “loves of their lives”. I think most of these idiots have it in their heads that if they get pregnant that they will get to keep their obviously, idiotic, moronic, immature boys. Case in point, that girl with the pink hair. So sad. SO sad. I feel so badly for those babies. I cannot fathom the country we becoming where more and more babies are being born because children think it’s an accessory. God help us. MTV is only glorifying this.

  53. Erin says:

    Am I the only female on here that is pro-life? I think abortion should only be considered in cases of sexual abuse or to save the mother’s life. I have seen firsthand the after-effects of abortion on women, physically and emotionally, and know that deep down, however much those who have aborted want to deny it, that there is a piece of them suffering, which is sad. It is also sad to see women on both sides attack each other over the issue rather than having an intelligent conversation on the cause and effect of such a decision.

    *steps off soapbox*

  54. fed up! says:

    Sorry for the typo’s ppl…I was laying down and typing quick. See how fed u I was? Typo’s eveywhere!!