4 Ways NYC’s New Teen Pregnancy Ad Campaign Hurts Teen Parents
I’ve been in utter shock since hearing of this new ad campaign in New York City aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. While I support and strongly encourage efforts to help teenagers to avoid becoming pregnant – including comprehensive and medically accurate sex education, access to contraceptives and abortion, and a culture that allows teens to talk about sex openly and honestly rather than shaming them – this ad campaign will do harm by perpetuating stereotypes and further discouraging and stigmatizing teen parents. Consider the following four points:
New York City’s focus on shame and scare tactics rather than on positive solutions and resources may keep some teens from getting pregnant, but will leave some hanging and hurt others along the way. We recognize the importance of efforts to reduce teen pregnancy, and hope that New York and other cities will focus efforts towards implementing culturally competent, comprehensive sex education, creating open dialogue with teens around sexuality, and expanding access to contraceptives, medical care, and information about reproductive health and choice. We also hope young parents will get the support they need to complete their education and pursue careers where they can achieve financial security.
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