“Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years” and “Honestly, Mom … chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?” are just a few of the controversial ads featured in New York City that have garnered negative attention from Planned Parenthood locations across the country, including the one in North Florida.
Katherine Segura, the director of community engagement for Planned Parenthood of North Florida, wrote in an email that fear-based strategies, like the ones used in this campaign, are only effective when paired with sex education.
“Planned Parenthood does not subscribe to scare tactics or fear-based strategies,” the 23-year-old said. “When used alone, fear-based strategies are less likely to change the occurrence of risky sexual behavior.”
Victoria Joyal, vice president for UF’s Chapter of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood and 22-year-old computer engineering senior, said the ads only target potential teen mothers and not the young men who could become fathers.
Victor Harris, a UF family youth and community science assistant professor and extension specialist, said it’s fairly accurate that a majority of teenage fathers don’t stay to raise a child.
Still, Samantha Evans, a UF sexual health educator with Gatorwell Health Promotion Services in the Counseling and Wellness Center, said it is a less effective way to prevent pregnancy.
“Although it might prevent them from having sex, it gives them an inaccurate view of the whole picture surrounding teen pregnancy,” Evans said.