The other night I was watching some bad Fox reality TV show when an ad came on. It showed a few teens partying, a girl looking at herself in the mirror and a couple in a car seemingly about to make out. A narrator said, "When you give yourself a minute to think, you give yourself to the chance to make a better decision." It then directed viewers to a website. I was intrigued, so I went.
I have to admit, what I found surprised me.
Despite the fact that FOX is notoriously conservative, the site wasn’t a "just say no" or abstinence-only campaign. It was actually a legitimate educational endeavor created by Fox with the Kaiser Family Foundation, an organization whose mission is to address "the major health care issues facing the U.S., with a growing role in global health, [which] develops and runs its own research and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies."
One of those major media companies is none other than MTV, with whom they have produced a number of sex education and HIV programs. With the Kaiser Family Foundation running the Pause campaign on the FOX network, issues such as body image, risky sex, substances and obesity are now being tackled.
The information on the Pause site is medically accurate and doesn’t reek of judgment.
There’s just one thing.
Included in a list of really good resources (like Planned Parenthood and the National Emergency Contraception Hotline) is also a link to the Abstinence Clearinghouse.
While the name might make it seem like an important addition to such a list, it’s not. This group promotes medically inaccurate information and is also staunchly anti-abortion. As a Planned Parenthood exposé explained:
"The organization opposes reproductive rights and its medical advisory council is made up of more than 60 health professionals who do not promote or prescribe contraception to unmarried teens … The irony behind anti-choice forces like … the clearinghouse is that, while they campaign to stop abortion, they also campaign against comprehensive sex education programs which offer information on both abstinence and birth control programs that would prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion."
Really, it is just a bad place to send teens with questions–even those who want more information on not having sex.
That being said, if we were to write off all websites for their sketchy links, there would be very few worth going to! So if you get a second, check out the Pause site and let me know your take on it.
Photo provided by Cane Rosso