NYC Teen Pregnancy Campaign Backlash

On March 4th, the Human Resources Administration released a new ad campaign in NYC aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. The overwhelming response online was that the campaign instead promoted shame and blame on teen parents, with little evidence of how it would reduce teen pregnancy.

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  1. Think Being a Teen Parent Won't Cost You?
  2. The response to the ad campaign included many horrified tweets about the ads, focusing on the reality facing teen parents.
  3. Many media outlets covered the campaign and its backlash.
  4. Reproductive Justice activists in NYC launch a campaign in response to the ads, calling for: public acknowledgement and apology from HRA, removal of all HRA campaign posters, a meeting between the HRA and NYC4RJ leaders, creation of a Teen Parent Council within HRA, composed of teen parents and their advocates, to approve any future messaging around teen pregnancy prevention.
  5. Teen mom Gloria Malone wrote about her own experience as a teen parent, highlighting the isolation and stigma she faced.
  6. Richard Reeves of Brookings argues that "shame is an essential ingredient of a healthy society, particularly a liberal one. It acts as a form of moral regulation, or social “nudge,” encouraging good behavior while guarding individual freedom."
  7. The response from the Bloomberg Administration has been to defend the ads. The tweet below is from the Press Secretary for New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
  8. Photos of the ads, which appear throughout NYC transportation ads on bus shelters and the subway.
  9. Think Being a Teen Parent Won't Cost You?
  10. Think Being a Teen Parent Won't Cost You?
  11. Think Being a Teen Parent Won't Cost You?
  12. Think Being a Teen Parent Won't Cost You?