This Terrible Subway Ad Will Not Prevent Teen Pregnancy


Way to attempt to make every teen mom/person with a teen mom feel like utter shit when they ride the subway, NYC! This ad, featuring a sobbing child and the quote “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen,” is problematic for many reasons, but let’s just give a shout out to a few of them.

  • 1. Shaming people isn’t a pregnancy prevention tool. Education, assistance, and condoms are, but misguided subway ads aren’t.
  • 2. There are so many wonderful teen moms, and this is basically a middle finger to them.
  • 3. Think of how it must feel for the child of a teen mom who sees this poster. What message does that send them? Better drop out now, because you’re doomed to fail.
  • 4. No mention of dads, naturally.
  • 5. What’s the plan here? Just making everyone feel bad? Where’s the mention of education and assistance?

The statistic might be true, but instead of using it to empower teen moms and their children, the ad blames them for making a terrible mistake that ends in tears. That’s far from the truth, and it’s not helping anyone. Teen moms and their children need support, not judgment, and shortsighted outreach like this hurt everyone involved — it create a deeper chasm between the people who want assistance, and the organizations that are ostensibly offering it.

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