The New York Human Resource Administration’s controversial teen pregnancy prevention campaign unveiled this week is being slammed by Planned Parenthood officials for “stigmatizing” teen parents and their kids.
Mayor Bloomberg’s office spent two years and over $400,000 producing the subway and bus shelters posters guilting teens for going bump in the night with messages about the consequences of teen pregnancy, such as “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen” and “Honestly mom chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?”
Haydee Morales, vice president for education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, said the organization was “shocked and taken aback” by the tone of the new campaign.
She adds that the campaign’s message — that teenage pregnancy leads to poverty — was backward. “It’s not teen pregnancies that cause poverty, but poverty that causes teen pregnancy.”
The Bloomberg administration has aggressively sought to reduce teenage pregnancy by mandating sex education in public schools and by empowering high school nurses to provide birth control, including the morning-after pill.
The city’s teenage pregnancy rate has declined by 27 percent in the past decade, roughly equaling the national rate of decline. Nearly 9 out of 10 teenage pregnancies in the city are unplanned, according to the Bloomberg administration.
Click the link to read Planned Parenthood’s official statement. I’m going to go cry in my pillow now.