The Chicago Department of Public Health’s Office of Adolescent and School Health is taking somewhat of a different and rather controversial approach with their new “Unexpected” teen pregnancy campaign. Ads for the campaign feature pregnant teenage boys. Through the campaign, the department hopes to promote the message that teen parenthood is not just the responsibility of the girl. The campaign is also designed to continue raising awareness about the consequences of unprotected sex.
“Improving the health and well-being of our youth is a key component in our comprehensive effort to make Chicago the healthiest city in the nation,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair in the campaign’s news release.
“These ads work to increase education and awareness which will in turn help reduce the number of teenage pregnancies in Chicago,” she continued.
A recent report conducted by the department, Births In Chicago, revealed that teen birth rates have declined by 33% in recent years, but the city still maintains one of the highest rates in the nation.
“Adolescence may be the healthiest time in most people’s lives, which is why it is often ignored, but by building awareness and making adolescent health a priority, we accomplish two things: We can help reduce sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies now and we can help teens and their families build a healthier future,” said Suzanne Elder, program director for the CDPH Office of Adolescent and School Health.
In addition to the campaigns, the CDPH has also launched a series of other initiatives to assist in the reduction of teen pregnancy rates in the city including:
Be Healthy Be You: a website that “provides adolescents and parents with information about sex, relationships, contraception, condoms and more.”
Sex-Ed Loop: a blog site with posts “written by and for adolescents and disseminated on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.”
Student and School-Level Outreach: brochures and other informative literature on contraceptive choices to be handed to students this month
Condom Availability Program: condom dispensers will be installed in various public high schools throughout the city.
What are your thoughts on the campaign?