By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 20 2003 12:00 AM ET
Nevada's Health Division has pulled a public service radio announcement aimed at lowering sexually transmitted disease, HIV, and teen pregnancy rates; the ad suggested that teenage girls will feel "dirty and cheap" if they have sex with their boyfriends. Health Division spokeswoman Martha Framstad said the radio spot was suspended because the language was not appropriate for the 9- to 14-year-old girls the agency wanted to reach. The ad, written by Jessica Cowee, abstinence-only coordinator for the Health Division, was broadcast as recently as last week in Reno and Las Vegas.
Greg Bortolin, a spokesman for Gov. Kenny Guinn, said Monday he thought the ad had been pulled in August. "We were concerned about how the ad was received by listeners," Bortolin said. "If another ad is aired, it hopefully will be less offensive to people. We probably should have been more sensitive."
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union complained about the message, particularly about the "dirty and cheap" line, when the ad was first broadcast in early August. Framstad said her agency is developing a new radio announcement. Plans to run an abstinence ad on television have been dropped.