« Bayer Responds to Studies Linking Birth Control Pills to Blood Clots | Main | New Research Probes the Safety of Birth Control Pills »

Washington Teen Fakes Pregnancy As Social Experiment

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(TOPPENSIH, Wash.) -- Gaby Rodriguez, 17, shocked her friends, teachers and family when she said she was pregnant.  She surprised them even more when she revealed this week that for six months, she had faked the pregnancy.

"Everybody was just shocked, like speechless," Rodriguez said.

Gaby decided to make her senior year project at Toppenish High School in Washington a social experiment where she pretended to be pregnant.

The straight-A student got the approval of her principal, her mother, her boyfriend and best friend.  They were the handful of people in on the secret.  Six of Gaby's seven siblings didn't know and neither did her boyfriend's parents.

Gaby began the elaborate hoax following Homecoming last October.  She convinced school principal Trevor Greene to let her pursue the project, which she's titled "Stereotypes, Rumors and Statistics."

Gaby started with baggy clothes and eventually fashioned a fake belly out of wire mesh and cotton quilt batting.  The aspiring social worker started taking notes on everything that was said about her.

"A lot of rumors were just that I was irresponsible.  No was bound to happen.  I knew she would get pregnant.  Doesn't she know she just ruined her life," she said.

The struggles of being a teenager with a baby are well documented and they have gotten a lot of attention lately because of the controversial MTV shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant.

Gaby had her own dramatic moment more powerful than any TV drama when she revealed the truth to the entire school at an assembly Wednesday.

She passed out notecards with the things that had been said about her and had students read them.

Gaby began by revealing that for months some students had left her feeling alone and ashamed.  Then, she pulled out the stuffing from under her shirt and left an entire gymnasium stunned.

Gaby plans to present her findings to community leaders to help other young women fight stereotypes and find the same quality she discovered along the way -- courage.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

ABC News Radio