The video: For the bulk of her senior year at Toppenish High School in Toppenish, Wash., Gaby Rodriguez played the lead role in a months-long social experiment. At the school's homecoming dance, the 17-year-old told friends she was pregnant, and then continued the ruse for more than six months — all in the name of a term paper called "Stereotypes, Rumors and Statistics." (Watch a Good Morning America clip about Rodriguez's fake pregnancy below.) Only a handful of people — including her boyfriend, her mother, and the school's principal — knew the truth. Last Wednesday, a few weeks before her supposed due date, Rodriguez revealed her deception at a school assembly, and divulged how, as an apparently pregnant teen, she'd endured backbiting gossip and bigoted remarks. After removing her fake belly, Rodriguez received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The reaction:
"I have to admit I was a bit surprised that Ms. Rodriguez felt so ostracized, given how glamorized teen pregnancy has become lately as high-school-aged mothers have become reality stars on shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, says Lisa Belkin at The New York Times. But even with the social pressures, Rodriguez did not have as difficult a time as a real teenage mother, says Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky. Neither Rodriguez nor her boyfriend had to negotiate "the real life pressures of preparing both short and long term for a baby’s arrival," which include "affording the costs of prenatal care, and real-life physical risks associated with pregnancy." Watch the Good Morning America segment below: