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Final Conclusions About the Pregnancy Problem
"Well, maybe whatever made that happen hasn't happened yet." --James 'LaFleur' Ford
Out of all the mysteries that remained unanswered after the show ended, the one I'm the most disappointed about is probably the pregnancy problem on the Island. What caused pregnant women on the Island to die in their second trimester? By the beginning of Season 6, I'd narrowed it down to the following possibilities: the Incident, the Purge, Jacob, the Man in Black, or something yet to be revealed. I just wanted to know which one it was, considering it had been brought up several times throughout Seasons 3 and 4, and mentioned once in 5, even narrowing it down to the fact that it happened after 1977. ("LaFleur") I would've been happy with just a simple one-line explanation, like how they explained the Whispers ("Everybody Loves Hugo") or Christian Shephard ("The Last Recruit"). Instead, I'm left to theorize as best as I can what caused the pregnancy problem.
My general rule for theorizing unexplained mysteries after the series finale has been to just go with the simplest explanation based on what the show did reveal. For this reason, I've eliminated Jacob and the Man in Black as suspects, because they were the main focus of the final season, and their stories were pretty much told. Causing pregnant women to die doesn't seem to fit with either of their agendas, at least without reaching far for an explanation, and if either of them had been the cause, then the writers would've likely had one of them mention it at some point. Thus, I've narrowed it down to the Incident and the Purge, the two catastrophic events in the Island's history that we know occurred between 1977 (when Ethan was born on the Island) and 2001 (when Juliet was brought to the Island to fix the pregnancy problem).
After going back and forth a bit between the Incident and the Purge, I'm leaning more toward the Incident as the likely cause of the pregnancy problem, mainly because more can be explained that way, and it's a lot closer and directly related to more events that we've seen play out on the show. And it's a simple explanation, which is why it makes the most sense. As I described in my Final Conclusions About the Incident last week, Juliet struck the Jughead bomb with the rock, which caused the bomb to either detonate or leak a large amount of radiation, whichever you prefer, and this reacted with the electromagnetic energy that had been released by Radzinsky's drill. It caused the Losties to flash to 2007 and temporarily neutralized the electromagnetic buildup, giving the DHARMA scientists enough time to build the Swan station and implement the button protocol. What I believe happened next is that the radiation that had been released from the Jughead bomb, as well as the radiation that I suspect gets released into the anomaly every time the button gets pushed, is what messes up women's reproductive organs on the Island, causing them to treat the fetus as a foreign object, leading to the death of both mother and fetus.
The irony of this theory, of course, is that it implies that Juliet caused the very problem that she was brought to the Island to try to fix, which is why I like it.
Of course, we do know that Danielle Rousseau gave birth to Alex in 1989, and that the pregnancy problem does affect women who come to the Island that late into their pregnancy, as Claire showed signs of the same problem in the samples that Ethan took. However, it's still possible that the effects didn't last long enough to prevent the baby from being born or kill the mother, since Claire didn't show any physical symptoms. Thus, while some may use Danielle as an argument for the pregnancy problem being caused by the Purge, there is still a plausible explanation in support of the Incident.
Now, supposedly the 12-minute epilogue on the Season 6 DVD to be released next month, "The New Man in Charge", will answer some additional questions, but I don't know if the pregnancy problem is one of them. I don't really see how it can be explained, since there's nobody left on the Island who would have the knowledge to explain it... UNLESS Ben actually knew all along what caused the pregnancy problem, and he just used it as an excuse to bring Juliet to the Island! Now that would certainly be an ironic twist!
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