There is little that conservatives and liberals seem to agree on, but you would expect that one cause common to both sides is combatting the scourge of teen pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that half of teen mothers don’t graduate from high school and that teen childbirth costs taxpayers around $11 billion a year.
Yet a new campaign launched this week by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (yes, that Bloomberg!), which warns teens of the risk of bearing children during adolescence, was attacked by Planned Parenthood. A blogger for the far-left website The Daily Kos added his two cents by cheering PP on in its efforts to subvert the PSAs.
So what exactly do the posters say that has PP’s knickers in a knot? There are five messages in all. They can be viewed here, here, here, here, and here. One reads, “If you finish high school, get a job, and get married before having children, you have a 98% chance of not being in poverty.” Another shows a crying baby and carries the caption “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.”
Admittedly, the campaign is unsubtle (welcome to Bloomberg’s world), but where is the downside of letting teens in on the potential pitfalls of becoming pregnant? Haydee Morales, vice president of education and training at Planned Parenthood’s New York office, evidently sees one. She said in a statement released on Wednesday:
The latest NYC ad campaign creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people.
What alternative aspirations? Becoming wards of the nanny state? It appears she might be referring to abortion, but what makes her think there is no “stigma, hostility” or “negative public opinions” attached to that solution for teens? And what does she find “hostile and negative” about exposing young people to the reality of a sweeping society-wide problem? The PSAs, as written, are fairly non-judgmental, mentioning neither birth control nor abstinence. They are one of the most benign positions the Bloomberg administration has taken.
The Kos blogger, in offering up hosannas to Planned Parenthood for its opposition, doesn’t address the above questions either but does write interestingly:
Much of what I write here is my own attempt to educate (fellow?) progressives about the potential obnoxiousness of their own attempts to educate others.
But the problem is that what “progressives” call “educating,” most people would call “dictating” or “attempting to intimidate.” If Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign were more about educating Americans on the dangers of obesity and less about deciding for them through government fiat what they can and can’t eat, she would have one less critic.
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