It was recently reported that a group of teenage girls, none older than 16, formed a sort of sisterhood of expected motherhood.
The girls made a pact with each other to become pregnant, so that they all could raise their children together. The attempt was partly successful. Some of them are pregnant and others are not.
And there has been a wealth of analysis surrounding the specific incident, asking why teenage girls would intentionally pursue motherhood.
It comes down to this very real issue we have in modern-day America.
In the past, I have seen and read evidence of this theory - that teen pregnancy and the economy can be correlated.
That is to say, when there are fewer teens in school or working, the more teens there will be falling prematurely into the role of parent.
I think most will agree that teenage pregnancy is not only a moral, religious, or social issue. It is, for all intents and purposes, a practical, economic issue, too.
School systems grow with every birth, poverty rates increase with each extra mouth to feed, and medical complications associated with childbirth and/or low-birth-weight and-premature babies complicate the societal issues related to young mothers and their children.
So, here we have multiple institutions trying to respond to several irresponsible behaviors of teenagers (and some adults), and hoping to still manage positive outcomes.
Institutions that deal with education, health care, law enforcement, and government agencies, are all dealing with the effects of the poor decisions of these youths, who end up divorcing at alarming rates and often pinched into circumstances that nudge them toward crime or other destructive behavior.
We see the evidence of these subsequent atrocities every day - some times in test scores, some times in medical bills, some times in alimony, some times in rates of domestic abuse and neglect, and so on.
Given all of these compelling concerns, we still see the news media devoting tons of newsprint and hours of TV footage to the issue of gay marriage, with endless debate and analysis.
The stories about the child being rescued from her abuser, or the murder suspect being caught, or the uninsured person who was denied medical treatment, take a backseat.
What about putting things into their proper perspective?
Seriously, aren't there more important, all-affecting things for us to concern ourselves with? Rather than this private institution of marriage that we have been told is so crucial (yet so broken) to our (a)moral society?
Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (770) 957-9161.