I know it's all been said before here and here and I've blogged about it recently but it seems some people still believe that in order to prevent pregnancies they need to reinforce the message that all teenage pregnancies are 'bad' and 'shameful' and will basically ruin your life, rather than allow young people to talk about why they may want a baby, or why they feel like they don't have the same choices as other girls, or why they don't care enough about themselves to think about the next day, let alone the next 18 years. These are the people you should be reaching and listening to, not those who already think that 'only sluts get pregnant'. The most shocking 'prevention tactic' I saw on this National Day to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy was this video - It basically assumed that young parents will bring up future criminals - nice I know - and it's shot like a horror film just for added effect! I mean sure it's good to know that having a baby is not just about nappies and baby sick but give people some credit. Allow them some sense of agency to recognise and make the most of the different choices available. Don't scare young people into believing they don't have those choices...

Here's my advice (that you can feel free to ignore): Think about what you're actually aiming for (i.e. encouraging healthy relationship, raising confidence and aspirations of young people, providing accurate non-judgmental information and improving access to the services that young people and young parents need) and focus on these, rather than scare tactics and shaming. If these things were done well that the number of unwanted pregnancies would probably reduce anyway because more young people would feel that they had control over their own bodies and control over their own lives. Not sharing good practice and instead focusing on misguided targets and preaching to young people about who they should not be only seeks to silence those who probably most need to find their own voice.....