As part of its mission to improve public health and awareness around issues related to sex, New York City released an app to educate teenagers about sex.
The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released the app, called Teens in NYC Protection+, as a way for teens to get health information and find city-approved clinics that offer services like STD screenings and birth control counciling.
The app’s button labels read “where to go,” “what to get,” and “what to expect.”
The app also provides walking and subway directions to nearby clinics, as well as educational videos.
“Many teens are simply not comfortable talking about sex with their patents,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told the New York Daily News, adding that those teens are most at risk for becoming pregnant. “With this app, we’re speaking their language.”
Several groups, including anti-abortion groups, spoke out against the app. Chad Hills, an analyst for CitizenLink, a Christian advocacy group, decried the app.
“Teaching children to avoid and deceive their parents — in exchange for questionable ‘health’ advice and ‘services’ — endangers and exploits children, while eroding core family principles in the areas of parent-child communication, connectedness and child well-being,” he said.
Alongside announcement of the app, DHMH also pointed out that teen pregnancy rates in New York City dropped 30 percent over the last decade, and dropped 5 percent from 2010 to 2011.