Big Stink Down in the Subway

Who doesn’t enjoy a rousing No Good Deed Goes Unpunished story? I find them irresistible.

With all good intentions, the city launched a print ad campaign in the subways targeting teens. The ads warn about the hazards of an unplanned pregnancy. The tone of the campaign is a bit harsh and it caused an immediate backlash. The ads feature weeping children hectoring their moms about how miserable their lives are going to be because they had them as a teen.

The mayor’s office said the intention was to send a strong message that teen pregnancy has negative, life-altering consequences. It sure does! Planned Parenthood was furious. They released a statement saying the ads stigmatize teenage parents and their children and reinforced negative stereotypes about teen moms.


(I’ll vouch for the statement above. It’s a fact!) This one is my absolute favorite. Imagine you’re a pregnant teen and just want to take the R train to 34th Street. You board, someone gives you their seat because of your delicate condition, you look up and see this:


 That’s right, girl. He gonna dump yo pregnant ass. And teen dads aren’t spared either, although I’m pretty sure a 17-year old boy with raging hormones is wholly unaffected by this threat.


Further, Planned Parenthood said, “It’s not teen pregnancies that cause poverty, but poverty that causes teen pregnancy.” I’m not so sure I agree with that. The area of Cleveland I grew up in wasn’t poverty stricken by any means, but it certainly wasn’t a wealthy community and teen pregnancy wasn’t a problem. Is it an economic issue or is it a lifestyle/cultural issue? Dare to speak what’s on your mind.

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Bonus pic from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here’s Constantin Brancusi’s beautiful marble sculpture Bird in Space from 1923. It’s framed by two Max Beckman paintings in the background. I’ve developed a real affinity for the German Expressionists. Ernst Kirchner did some pretty interesting things.