When high school senior Gaby faked a pregnancy as a project to challenge stereotypes, she also changed her life. Discover this compelling memoir from an inspirational teenage activist, now a Lifetime movie.
It started as a school project, but it turned into so much more.
Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers; from an outsider’s perspective, it was practically a family tradition. Gaby had ambitions that didn’t include teen motherhood. But she wondered: how would she be treated if she fulfilled others’ expectations? Would everyone ignore the years she put into being a good student and see her as just another pregnant teen statistic with no future? These questions sparked Gaby’s high school senior project: faking her own pregnancy to see how her family, friends, and community would react. What she learned changed her life forever…and made international headlines in the process.
In The Pregnancy Project, Gaby details how she was able to fake her own pregnancy, hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend’s parents, and reveals all that she learned from the experience. But more than that, Gaby’s story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.
In April 2011, 17-year-old Rodriguez attracted widespread media attention when she revealed that she had faked a pregnancy for her senior project. In this initially slow-paced account, the honor student discusses the rationale behind and technicalities of her ruse, which she hoped would make her peers "take teen pregnancy seriously... and encourage them to make responsible decisions about their bodies and sexuality." Rodriguez also wanted her experiment to help shatter negative stereotypes in her case, that she is predisposed to teen pregnancy given her family history. Rodriguez spends the first third of the book detailing her family background, including several teenage pregnancies, broken relationships, births (she has seven older siblings and 31 nieces and nephews), and deaths. She then reveals the emotional repercussions of her experiment (including her feelings of isolation and her guilt about lying to friends, family, and teachers). Writing clearly and offering incisive observations on her experiences, Rodriguez leaves readers with plenty to think about regarding teen pregnancy and society's reactions to it. Rodriguez's story is slated to become a Lifetime movie. Ages 14 up.