A new ad campaign targeting teenage pregnancy in New York City has drawn the ire of Planned Parenthood.
The group says the new teen pregnancy prevention ads unveiled this week by the New York City Human Resources Administration stigmatize teenage parents and their children.
It says the posters, which have been placed on bus and subway signs around the city, ignore the racial, economic and social factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy.
“The latest NYC ad campaign creates stigma, hostility, and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people,” Haydee Morales, Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, said in a press release.
One poster shows a crying baby and text that reads: "I'm twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen."
The mayor's office responded to the criticism by saying it was "past time" to be "value neutral" about teenage pregnancy. It said it was important to "send a strong message that teen pregnancy has consequences" and that they are extremely life-altering.
But Morales said the campaign is a waste of money.
“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,” said Morales.
She claims poverty causes teen pregnancy, not the other way around.
New York City’s in-your-face ad campaigns – like their anti-smoking ads featuring grotesque images – have come under fire before, but city officials insist they have been effective.
With reporting by the Associated Press.