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

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Local

Could this be the end of ICE holds…

Mayor Michael Nutter directed city agencies to stop cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer holds via executive order today.

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.