Bloomberg teen pregnancy ad campaign draws criticism

Teen pregnancy ad
This is one of the posters in the city’s new ad campaign alerting New Yorkers to the risks of teen parenthood. (Human Resources Administration)

A controversial anti-teen-pregnancy campaign from the Bloomberg administration has been met with criticism from advocacy organizations who claim the ads are stigmatizing, hurtful, and are reinforcing harmful stereotypes.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health condemned the campaign for its lack of “medically accurate, culturally appropriate or socially relevant information,” and Haydee Morales, the vice president of education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, implied that the campaign was a misuse of city money, and intended only for “shock value.”

“The city’s money would be better spent helping teens access health care, birth control and high-quality sexual education,” Morales insisted.

NLIRH executive director Jessica González-Rojas emphasized the need for increased access to contraception, asserting that structural barriers – from immigration status and language to poverty and discrimination — keep many young Latinas from being able to obtain contraception, and are thus the causes of higher rates of unintended teen pregnancy.

Morales also criticized the administration for “blaming young people for the outcomes of poverty, violence, limited access to healthcare and unequal educational opportunities, as well as gender, racial, and ethnic inequalities.”

“Young people and their families need medically accurate, culturally appropriate and socially relevant information to make healthy and informed decisions… and they need increased access to contraception,” González-Rojas insisted.

González-Rojas also criticized the text-messaging component of the campaign, which reportedly generates responsed like “My BFF called me a ‘fat loser’ at prom” and “First my parents diss me, now my BFF. She has stopped calling me.”

She scolded the administration for “painting teen parents as failures” and added, “I would welcome a conversation with the Administration about how their can do better for NYC teens.”

Samantha Levine at the mayor’s office said, “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.”

According to the mayor’s office, there are more than 20,000 teen pregnancies annually in New York City, and 87 percent are unintended.

As of September 2011, comprehensive sex education — as opposed to abstinence-only — is mandated in city public schools, a move that is part of the Young Men’s Initiative. The city also launched the CUNY Fatherhood Academy through the Young Men’s Initiative, which prepares young fathers to apply to, enroll in, and graduate from college.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.

National

Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.

Local

Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.

National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.

NHL

Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

MLB

Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.