An ad campaign by the NYC Human Resources Administration would like you to know that your kids hate you for being a teen mom. Or, more accurately, that your future kids will hate you if you become a teen mom, much like the kids of current teen moms hate them. Because Daddy left, and now he’s absent and stuck with child support, and Mommy’s alone and poor, and the kid will never make anything of herself, and why did you not just keep your legs together, Mom?
The ads feature crying babies, resentful quotes, and statistics. But mostly the babies and the quotes.
“I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen.”
“Honestly Mom… chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?”
“Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years.”
“Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year.”
And in a classic, poster-sized conflation of correlation and causation:
“If you finish high school, get a job, and get married before having children, you have a 98% chance of not being in poverty.”
You can also text NOTNOW to the number on the poster to play a choose-your-own-adventure game as a pregnant teen named Anaya in which your best friend calls you a loser at the prom and your parents shun you and your boyfriend walks out on you. The $400,000 campaign currently appears in bus shelters and will soon come to subways in neighborhoods with high rates of teen pregnancy, where teen parents are most likely to see them and feel appropriately horrible about how they’re foolish and alone and poor and their children hate them.