Pregnant Boys: Chicago’s Teen Pregnancy Campaign Sparks Conversation

chicago, teen pregnancy, ad campaign

Chicago is shocking the world with its 2013 teen pregnancy prevention campaign, which features pregnant teenage boys.

The city with the highest rate of teen pregnancies has upped their game with this year’s teen pregnancy prevention campaign: they have finally caught the media’s attention with their pictures of pregnant teenagers—who are male.

We wanted it to be provocative,” Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair said. “We wanted this campaign, those images, to spark conversation, and that’s exactly what we’re getting.”

Twitter has been abuzz with users tweeting the campaign images, and the media has been all over it. It even got air time on The View:

“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.”

People of all ages have weighed in on the images, which feature slogans like “Unexpected? Most Teen Pregnancies Are,” and there has been a powerful positive response. The ads, which are targeted towards teenage boys, offers two ways to prevent pregnancies and STDs: “Wear a condom. Or wait.

Controversial? Maybe. Effective? You bet. 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. With numbers like that, there is a definite chance that Chicago’s summer campaign could see a similar drop in teen pregnancies.

What do you think?

chicago teen pregnancy campaign 2

Photos: Chicago Department of Public Health

About Abigail Ortlieb

Abigail is a graduate student at Emerson College in Boston. While she pursues her MA in electronic publishing and writing, she works as a freelance writer and editor and writes for the browser-based game, Alteil.


  1. Here’s an excerpt from my article and take on this ad campaign…

    State Raised Children? Hold Us Accountable

    Chicago needs our help. The City of Chicago has been fighting a war against broken homes, teen pregnancy, and violence for many years. Chicago has the 3rd largest school district in the nation and is an international hub of business, science, and industry. The city workers and public officials have taken it upon itself to raise and manage children through ad campaigns and public schools. State-raised children?

    There has been a shift; even the non-conformist community is offended by this latest ad campaign. As a Judeo-Christian conservative, I am truly offended by this ad. How about the rest of the working population in Chicago who must pay taxes to fund these ad campaigns and must drive past these ads each day, are they not offended?

    Chicago is an international hub of commerce, science, and industry and people from across the globe visit Chicago routinely and look at these state-sponsored parenting ads and are alarmed. Children look at these and are bewildered.

    Is it any wonder why other countries no longer want to do business with Americans, people do not want to visit our cities, and parents are pulling their kids out of public schools in droves? The entire world is looking at the US and the dysfunctional family as a disgrace. It is alarming that parenting and sexual responsibility has been given to the ‘state’ to fund and manage. If this campaign alarms you, please rattle cages and help the great Families of Chicago, otherwise this campaign may come to town near you.

    I recommend that every city, state, and public official in Illinois be docked one-month’s pay to be held accountable for this campaign. I would like the city, state, and national Board of Tourism, Dept of Education employees, Dept of Treasury, and the Obama Administration to be docked one month’s pay, as well. I also recommend vacationers and travelers avoid Chicago this summer while we help Chicago clean up it act.

    We can kill three birds at once: lower our debt, protect our children, and save our great cities. If anyone has any better ideas, I’m sure the nation would love to hear them.


    US Tax Payer

  2. It’s all about perspective. This should broaden the scope for young men and women. I’m proud of my city for forcing society to address both parties of unplanned pregnancy, instead of just the statistically quotable “pregnant teens”.

Speak Your Mind