How do you feel about this new $40,000 ad campaign sponsored by the City of New York discouraging teen pregnancy?
Some are finding it offensive, while others say it simply is espousing facts.
The good news is, New York City's teen pregnancy rate has fallen 27 percent over the last decade. Although that number is still a ways away from where we need to be, it represents progress. The steady drop in teen pregnancy also calls into question the urgency for spending money during an economic crisis on a problem that has shown improvement.
Melissa Harris-Perry, Tulane University Professor, television host and political commentator of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, was so appalled by the new series -- she calls the campaign "troubling" and an unnecessary and shameful attack on teen parents -- she wrote an open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In the letter she writes (excerpts):
"...Poverty among African Americans and Latinos has increased, even though those communities have seen the most dramatic decreases in teen pregnancy.
"That is the kind of misleading statistic that might lead some people to, you know, blame young mothers for America’s deepening poverty crisis rather than putting the blame where it belongs, on a financial system that concentrates wealth at the top and public policies that entrench it there.
"...Maybe you don’t realize this, Mr. Mayor, but most of us who were raised by single moms never had any interest in shaming them. We tend to praise them. Recognize their sacrifices and see all the ways they worked to make the world better for us even when it was hard for them."
Although many agreed with Harris-Perry's take on the campaign, several left comments defending it as an in-your-face reality check that does little more than state the truth.
Said one commenter, "Sorry, Melissa, but evidently, other methods used and executed to prevent teen pregnancy have not worked. What you and too many others fail to understand is that the target population for these pregnancies are still children themselves. They are not adults, and do not yet have the full brain development necessary to predict the consequences of their long-term actions."
Another commenter said, "If the campaign is a bad idea, how do we reach young girls/women, before pregnancy? How??"
And another said, "Hits the nail on the head and then some. Harsh but gets the message across."
What do you think?
Do you believe this ad campaign is the smartest, most effective way to reach teens and dissuade them from early pregnancy? Or do you feel that the campaign is inappropriate and has gone too far?
Tell us in the comments.