Is Teen Pregnancy a Public Health Issue or a Choice? Social Media Debates

Teen pregancy #noteenshame Candie'sThis spring, things got quite heated with negative campaigns that shamed young moms about their teen pregnancy, most notably the Candie’s Foundation ads that state:

Teenage years are the time to change the world, not diapers

There’s been a quietly brewing debate about teen pregnancy in the U.S., with the traditional position that teen pregnancies are a public health issue similar to teen smoking, and the alternative position that it’s a race and class issue, an issue of values, and every young woman gets to choose her life path and be proud of it.

Forward Together #noteenshameDigital campaigns took root, including the hashtag #noteenshame and a Change.org petition by Strong Families to stop the Candies ads. Communities in Milwaukee, headed up by the United Way, took a public health approach and used contracep-texting and a video contest to gather community partners and buck the trends. BUtiful is a program in New Orleans for African American teen women age 17 to 19 that integrates online chat and discussion forums so young women can make informed choices about their lives.

To stay connected to what’s going on in unplanned pregnancy prevention efforts, like us on Facebook.


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