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Trump administration ends funding for teen pregnancy programs

The funding is part of a national, evidence-based program started by the Obama Administration to curb teen pregnancy.

By Amy Wallace
Trump administration ends funding for teen pregnancy programs
The Trump Administration has eliminated funding to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program started under President Obama to reduce teen pregnancy through community education grants. File photo by BlueSkyImage/Shutterstock

July 24 (UPI) -- A nationwide, successful teen pregnancy prevention program is being eliminated under President Donald Trump's proposed FY 2018 budget, with all organizations funded by it notified this month their funding will end next year.

As part of the proposed budget, the Trump Administration plans to halt funding of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention, or TPP, Program two years early by eliminating $213.6 million to over 81 TPP organizations, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

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"On July 1, HHS awarded 81 continuations for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Tier 1 and Tier 2 grant awards for a total of $89 million," a spokesperson for HHS told UPI. "All of these grantees were given a project end date of June 30, 2018."

In 2010, the Obama Administration awarded 84 grants to communities throughout the United States to fund the TPP, a national, evidence-based program that provides funding to diverse organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy.

RELATED CDC: Teen birth rate drops again to all-time low

The TPP is part of the Office of Adolescent Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The TPP focused on teen pregnancy prevention with adolescents between the age of 10 to 19. During the first five years of the TPP, there were 102 grantees reaching half a million youth, training more than 6,800 professionals and partnering with over 3,800 community-based organizations, according to the OAH.

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TPP organizations were expecting funding to continue through the end of June 2020, but recently received notification from HHS that those funds would not be coming.

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The funds were eliminated in Trump's 2018 budget proposal, with the proposed 2018 budget including funding only for abstinence-only education.

"The president's fiscal year 2018 Budget eliminated funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, so our grants office informed the grantees of their June 30, 2018, end date, to give them an opportunity to adjust their programs and plan for an orderly closeout," the HHS spokesperson said.

Some of the community groups that will lose their funding include the Choctaw Nation's program in Oklahoma, Johns Hopkins' program for adolescent Apaches in Arizona, the University of Texas' guidance for youth in foster care, the Chicago Department of Public Health's counseling and testing for sexually transmitted infections and the University of Southern California's workshops for teaching parents how to talk to middle school kids about delaying sexual activity.

RELATED CDC: Teen births in U.S. hit historic low in 2014

Newton Sanon, president and CEO of the organization that runs the program in Broward County, Florida, told the Sun Sentinel the program serves 5,300 teens a year, reduces the number of teen pregnancies -- and in the long run saves the government more than the $1.25 million annual cost.

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"We can really pay it forward by this investment," Sanon said. "I can't stress it enough that this is an investment we need to make."

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