ABC News’ Reena Ninan reports:
A provocative new ad campaign in Chicago, a city that has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, is garnering a lot of attention with its shocking images of teenage boys pregnant.
Although teenage pregnancies in Chicago are down by 33 percent, the city’s teenage pregnancy rate is still 1.5 times the national average. So the city’s public health department decided to tackle it head on with such tag lines as “Unexpected? Most Teen Pregnancies Are.”
“We wanted it to be provocative,” Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair told ABC News. “We wanted this campaign, those images, to spark conversation, and that’s exactly what we’re getting.”
Parenting expert Dr. Karyn Gordon supports the idea.
“This is a topic that so many parents are afraid to have with their kids,” said Gordon, author of ”Dr. Karyn’s Guide to the Teen Years.” “They don’t even know how to talk about it. They don’t know how to bring it up.”
Even the ladies of ABC’s ”The View” weighed in on the controversial campaign.
“I think it’s a tough sell to get young men to realize that just because you’re not pregnant for nine months, it still affects you,” said Sherri Shepherd.
“It’s a smart campaign,” added Elisabeth Hasselbeck. “It makes you stop in your tracks.”
And Chicago teens seem to be taking notice of the ads, which are displayed in the city’s public buses and trains.
“Yeah, it would make me definitely think,” said one boy.
Ad supporters claim Milwaukee saw a 10 percent decline in teenage pregnancy after running similar ads. And New York reported a 27 percent drop as well.
While the Chicago ads will run for only a month, free condoms and sex education will continue on the website BeYouBeHealthy.org, which provides resources for teenagers and adults on sexual health, contraception education and how to find a clinic.