Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 04:02 pm est

Ads against teenage pregnancy generate controversy

Posted on March 13, 2013 | by Georgia Dudman

Courtesy of Human Resources Administration

 

Posters with pictures of crying babies have appeared in New York City subways as a part of a new campaign by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce teen pregnancy.

The posters bear controversial captions such as, “Honestly mom, chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?” and, “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.” The campaign, which was unveiled at the beginning of March, is a collaborative effort by Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar.

Other posters target teenage fathers, reading, “Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years.” The campaign also includes an interactive texting program and YouTube video featuring facts, games and quizzes concerning teenage pregnancy.

Bloomberg said the goal of this initiative is to show that teenagers with no money, job or college degree are ill-equipped to raise a child. Bloomberg’s previous programs to reduce teen pregnancy include requiring sexual education in public schools and allowing high school nurses to provide birth control.

“This campaign makes very clear to young people that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to deciding to raise a child,” said Bloomberg in a press conference. “We’ve already seen important progress in our effort to help more teens delay pregnancy — teen pregnancy has steadily declined in New York City — but there is more work still to be done.”

Teen pregnancy in New York City has declined by 27 percent in the past decade, although there are still more than 20,000 teen pregnancies annually.

“Teens giving birth before they are ready to provide emotional and financial support is not a good way to raise children,” said HRA commissioner Doar in the campaign’s press release. “We cannot dictate how people live their lives, and sometimes even the best plans don’t work out, but we must encourage responsibility and send the right message, especially to young people.”

Planned Parenthood has fought back against the PSA. The organization prefers a judgment-free approach in helping and advising young, parents-to-be.

“The latest New York City ad campaign creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people,” said Haydee Morales, vice president of education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, in a press release.

Steinhardt junior Emily Senkowsky, a member of the NYU chapter of the Newman Catholic Fellowship, shared her opinion on the matter.

“If the government is interested in running these kinds of ads, they should also run ads that provide helpful information for pregnant teens: hotlines to call, places to go,” she said.

A version of this article was published in the Wednesday, March 13 print edition. Georgia Dudman is a contributing writer. Email her at cstate@nyunews.com.

Comments

  • http://RJNox.com Rjnox

    A good range of differing views with a very good one left til last. The children of teenage mums are only twice as likely not to graduate because of a lack of support from a inconsiderate, one minded government. Surely helping the 20,000 young mums should be their main focus rather than insulting them!

  • Tina

    The government provides as much help for the teen moms as they do for the mature ones; how is this unfair? The fact is that becoming a mother holds many more responsibilities than teens realize. This is a child, a human, permanent addition to your life, not a rebellious statement to your parents or something to hold over your boyfriend. These ads bring attention that moms need a feasible way to raise a healthy child. Not having education or money is not a good start.

  • Keely

    An aborted baby is 100% less likely to graduate high school! There are approximately 2 million families waiting to adopt babies in the United States, but only about 50,000 adoptions actually occur. Abortion is NOT the answer to teen pregnancy!

  • Brian

    Scare tactics and shame don’t work. The only thing this would accomplish is shame teen mothers so much that the alternative would be abortion or foster care. And who wants those rates to go up

    How about just giving information to these teens and making sure they actually are well informed on birth control? Most teens don’t wake up wanting to have a baby. Does Bloomberg think teens will now have less sex because of this? It didn’t work when we tried to scare em by showing nasty std pictures. The older we get, the more out of touch we become with young people

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next