Earlier this week the New York Human Resources Human Resource Administration released a very controversial ad campaign titled “The Real Cost of Teenage Pregnancy“. In an effort to make real the sincere challenges of being a teen parent, many feel as though the ad takes it far over the point of being acceptable, and crossing into “scare tactics” territory.
The ad features images of sad and crying children, with captions such as “Honestly mom…chances are he WON’T stay with you, what happens to ME?” no doubt evoking very specific emotions, not only from those SEEING the ads but also those that are teen parents. Outraged, Planned Parenthood has issued an official statement speaking out against the ads stating they perpetuate gender stereotypes and present fear-based messages that have proven ineffective in preventing teen pregnancies. More importantly they lack information about how to access appropriate healthcare or affordable and effective birth control resources.
Planned Parenthood set a fine example with their press release (which you can read in its entirety here) by not only outlining the folly of the NY Human Resource Administrations campaign but by stating the contributions they’ve made to the city’s declining teen pregnancy rate and other measure that are being set in place to keep it on the decline.
“Teenage parenthood is simply not the disastrous and life-compromising event these ads portray. It’s time we focus on the root causes rather than point fingers at teen parents and their children.” – Haydee Morales, Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of NYC.
Teen Pregnancy is definitely one of our nations more influencable issues, we just have to address it with an appropriate type of energy and “scaring” teenagers into protected sex is no more effective than scaring them into abstinence. What do you think would be some more effective ways to reach teenagers who could potentially end up in these types of situations? Sound off in the comments!