'Secret Life' star opens conversation on teen pregnancy

It’s one thing to be popular with her peers but Shailene Woodley, the 18-year-old star of ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” has received some of her most surprising feedback from parents.

“The show has opened up incredible avenues for them and their kids, and they watch it together,” Woodley says. “I think a lot of families don’t communicate. I grew up in an open family; I think it creates open communication and creates less mistakes.”

Woodley’s character, a 16-year-old who got pregnant the first time she had sex, deals with the stresses of being a new mom as well as the regular day-to-day hassles of going to high school.

“The success started right away. It was the kind of subject that started to come out in the public eye with ‘Juno’ and the Sarah Palin thing that ultimately tuned the audience in,” says Woodley, who is grateful for the opportunities the show has given her, allowing her to meet “amazing people” and become involved with charitable causes such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I feel I’ve become more worldly, especially because I was in a situation (with the St. Jude charity) meeting tons of kids who didn’t know if they would survive another year. I live life from a positive standpoint to make sure you are there for other people, the way they are there for you,” she says.

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