In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, 148 House Democrats on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration’s move to cut funding to the HHS’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), warning of a harmful “ripple effect across communities” if the administration axes the Obama-era initiative.
The grants provided under the TPPP were slated to extend for five years, but in a quiet move earlier this month the Trump administration trimmed two years off of that window.
“The negative impacts of this unnecessary decision cannot be overstated,” the Democrats wrote. “At a time when young people are most in need of information and education to protect their sexual and reproductive health, this Administration is denying evidence and science.”
“Young people deserve better.”
“In addition to hurting the young people currently participating in TPPP-supported programs and the 600,000 young people who would have been served through the remaining years of the projects, this decision will mean fewer jobs, fewer trained professional, and reduced partnerships in communities all across the country,” the lawmakers wrote.
The Hill added:
Adopted by Congress in 2010, the TPPP grants millions of dollars to local governments, universities, nonprofit organizations and other groups that provide education and other “evidence-based” services designed to rein in teen pregnancies. More than 80 groups currently receive funding, according to HHS — a list as diverse as Oklahoma’s Choctaw Nation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Hawaii’s chapter of Planned Parenthood and the University of Texas.
The grants, initiated in 2015, were intended to run until the middle of 2020, but recipients this month got notice that the window will close on June 30, 2018. The news was first reported by The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The TPPP cut arrives as teenage pregnancy in the United States is at a record low. Reproductive health experts have attributed the decline in large part to the heightened education of today’s teens and the greater availability of better birth-control regimens.
“Will current TPPP grantees be allowed to continue their projects and if not, what does HHS plan to do with FY 2018 funding?” the Democratic lawmakers asked.