Planned Parenthood of New York City blasted the city's new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign on Thursday, saying it won't deter teen pregnancy and inappropriately shames and stigmatizes its target audience.Someone needs to tell these teen girls the truth about the problems they are creating. Planned Parenthood will not. Some public shaming could be a good thing.
The campaign "creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people," said Haydee Morales, the organization's vice president of education and training. "The city's money would be better spent helping teens access health care, birth control and high-quality sexual and reproductive health education, not on an ad campaign intended to create shock value."
The New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services announced the $400,000 initiative, which features pictures of babies delivering messages to their hypothetical parents such as "Honestly, mom... chances are he won't stay with you. What happens to me?" The small print adds that 90% of teen parents don't marry each other.
"Dad, you'll be paying to support me for the next 20 years," says another of the ads, which adds in smaller print that "NY State law requires a parent to pay child support until a child is 21."
"Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year," says another, which adds that teen parents should expect to spend more than $10,000 a year to raise their child.
"Teens giving birth before they are ready to provide emotional and financial support is not a good way to raise children," said Administration Commissioner Robert Doar. "We cannot dictate how people live their lives, and sometimes even the best plans don't work out, but we must encourage responsibility and send the right message, especially to young people."
Planned Parenthood, an advocacy group and provider of reproductive health services and education, said Wednesday in a statement that the ads propagate stereotypes and fail to address the societal problems that lead to teen pregnancies.