Crass subway ads are nothing new. Just off the top of my head, there's the one with the fat being poured into a glass, Pamela Gellar's horrible campaign against Islam, and those crazy posters trying to convince you that smoking makes your fingers fall off (I still do not think this is a real medical thing, or at least not the principal reason to scare people away from smoking). Even the "before" acne pictures in Dr. Zizmor's spots are pretty rough.
So it's not really that surprising that when the city decided to put up PSA's in the subway about the downsides of teen pregnancy, they uh, really went for it.
Unfortunately, as Jezebel and The Pushback have pointed out, they went for it in a pretty belittling, unproductive way, with a picture of a crying child alongside the caption, "I'm twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen."
No mention of, say, safer sex or educational practices that could prevent teen pregnancy, or helpful resources for teens who do have children. Just a shocking image and statistic that are designed to make teen parents (and children of teen parents) feel shitty and ashamed, and everyone else smug or indifferent. Exactly what a public service announcement is supposed to do, right?
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.