Trump Cuts Over $200 Million from Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 17, 2017

And yet the Trump administration chose to pull $213.6 million in funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services, who have publicly favored an abstinence-based approach to sex education, sent letters to recipients to inform them of their decision to end funding early on the five-year grants, which go to 81 organizations around the country, according to the reports. "This award also shortens the project period to end June 30, 2018, at the end of this budget year", Reveal reported the annual grant award letter said. Birth rates are higher for black, Hispanic, and Native American teens.

The grant to Chicago was included in a $213.6 million program created to reduce teen pregnancy that funded programs at more than 80 institutions around the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country's teen birth rate dropped 8 percent in 2015 to hit a record low of 22.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.

Ending the program early will mean the effort to figure out the best way to stop Chicago Public Schools students from experiencing an unwanted pregnancy, contracting a sexually transmitted infection or engaging in risky sexual behavior will end, and the work already completed will be useless for scientific study, officials said. "The researchers will not have the funds to analyze data they have spent the past two years collecting or incorporate their findings into assistance for teens and their families". "Still, the USA teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than in other western industrialized nations", the CDC notes on its website, meaning there's still more room for improvement.

This is part of a larger Trump administration effort to make sex education exclusively abstinence-only, Pat Paluzzi, president and CEO of Healthy Teen Network, told Reveal.

According to Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quietly ended Obama-era grants given to over 80 institutions in a multi-pronged approach to curb the country's high teen pregnancy rate-which now affects one in four teens. In June, Trump appointed Valerie Huber, a staunch abstinence-only education advocate, to be chief of staff to the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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