Planned Parenthood Outraged over New York Teen Pregnancy Prevention Ads

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NYC Teen Pregnancy Prevention AdNew York’s recent Teen Pregnancy Prevention campaign stigmatizes the issue of teenage pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood.

The new citywide campaign creates “hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people,” Haydee Morales, Planned Parenthood of New York vice president of education and training, told CNN. “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 campaign is a $400,000 initiative of the New York City Human Resources Administration and Department of Social Services. The ads show babies warning their young parents about the consequences of teen pregnancy.

“Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years,” one campaign ad says. “Honestly, mom…chances are he won’t stay with you,” says another, with print underneath the text noting that 90 percent of teenage mothers do not marry the fathers of their children.

Representatives of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, however, have defended the advertisements.

“This campaign is part of the city's comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention program, which includes sex education, increased access to birth control and partnerships with community-based organizations,” Deputy Press Secretary Samantha Levine told CNN.

New York City Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar echoes that sentiment. “We cannot dictate how people live their lives, and sometimes even the best plans don’t work out,” he said. “But we must encourage responsibility and send the right message, especially to young people.”