Earlier this month, 81 organizations that currently receive funding from Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) were notified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this funding would end June 30, 2018. The notice came as a surprise, as these programs were awarded five-year grants in 2015—totaling $213.6 million—with an original end date of June 30, 2020.
As reported in Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, several grantees were told by officials at the DHHS Office of Adolescent Health that the decision to eliminate funding came from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. It’s current head is recent Trump appointee Valerie Huber, who comes to the position from the National Abstinence Education Association (recently renamed Ascend) that has rebranded abstinence as “sexual risk avoidance” and promotes this as poverty reduction. As Martha Kempner writes at Rewire, “Teen parents are, in fact, more likely to live in poverty than their peers who have children at a later age. But suggesting that avoiding all sex until marriage will prevent you from being poor later in life is an extreme message not based in research.”
These preemptive funding cuts, which Reveal notes were done outside the traditional federal budget process, leave the future of these evidence-based program in question. Learn more at Reveal.