US Trump admin announces abstinence-focused overhaul of teen pregnancy program

02:50  21 april  2018
02:50  21 april  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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Trump Administration Quietly Cuts Grants for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs . An executive with an organization for abstinence education said they support the cuts because “ teen pregnancy prevention programs are ineffective.”

The Trump administration is mounting an effort to “support and improve” teen pregnancy prevention programs , which will include encouraging abstinence . The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a million research endeavor on Friday

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The Trump administration will shift federal funding aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates to programs that teach abstinence.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday the availability of grants through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, (TPPP) a grant program created under former President Obama that funds organizations and programs working to reduce teen pregnancy rates.

Trump's HHS announced, however, that unlike under the Obama administration, grants will be geared toward organizations that teach abstinence education to teens instead of the comprehensive sex ed approach the previous administration supported.

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Without much warning, the Trump administration has gutted nearly 4 million from teen pregnancy prevention programs across the country. Their program , which focused on teaching low-income Hispanic and Native American teens about Countless studies have found that abstinence -only

The 3 million program helped lead to an all-time low in teen pregnancies and had bipartisan and medical expert support. But HHS employees newly appointed by the Trump administration worked to end it in favor of pro- abstinence programs , NBC News reports.

In a funding announcement released Friday, the administration announced two tiers of funds for the TPP program.

In the first, grantees would have to follow one of two abstinence programs to receive funding.

One of the programs uses a "sexual risk reduction model," which is designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors.

The other program uses a "sexual risk avoidance model," which teaches teens to avoid sex completely.

"Projects will clearly communicate that teen sex is a risk behavior for both the physical consequences of pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections; as well as sociological, economic and other related risks," the funding announcement reads. "Both risk avoidance and risk reduction approaches can and should include skills associated with helping youth delay sex as well as skills to help those youth already engaged in sexual risk to return toward risk-free choices in the future."

Trump Administration Pushes Abstinence in Teen Pregnancy Programs

  Trump Administration Pushes Abstinence in Teen Pregnancy Programs New rules don’t explicitly exclude teaching about contraception and protected sex, but favor “sexual risk avoidance” and don’t require as rigorous evidence of efficacy.The Trump administration has issued new rules for funding programs to prevent teenage pregnancy, favoring those that promote abstinence and not requiring as rigorous evidence of effectiveness.

In May, she lauded the Trump ’s call to bolster abstinence -only programs and defund the Obama administration ’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in his The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program aimed to curb that rate further by focusing on teens most at risk for getting pregnant .

Eight groups sued the Trump admin . for terminating teen pregnancy prevention program grants without warning, and in favor of other programs that don't work. Instead, Trump is funding abstinence programs with million, although such programs have proven ineffective.

In total, tier one will award up to $61 million in funds, ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 per year.

The second tier solicits applications to develop and test "new and innovative strategies" to prevent teen pregnancy while improving adolescent health and addressing "youth sexual risk holistically by focusing on protective factors."

The changes represent a major change to the way the federal government treats teen pregnancy.

The Obama administration mostly awarded TPP grants to organizations that taught comprehensive sex education, which can include teaching teens about contraception and abstinence.

But the Trump administration has been shifting toward abstinence programs since hiring several HHS employees who support the approach, including Valerie Huber, the chief of staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, which oversees the TPP program.

Trump Administration Pushes Abstinence in Teen Pregnancy Programs

  Trump Administration Pushes Abstinence in Teen Pregnancy Programs New rules don’t explicitly exclude teaching about contraception and protected sex, but favor “sexual risk avoidance” and don’t require as rigorous evidence of efficacy.The Trump administration has issued new rules for funding programs to prevent teenage pregnancy, favoring those that promote abstinence and not requiring as rigorous evidence of effectiveness.

Started in 2010, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program gives million a year to 81 organizations across the United States, including EngenderHealth. Albert said he suspects Trump 's new hires at the HHS — Valerie Huber, an outspoken abstinence education advocate who was recently named

The Trump administration shut down funding for teen pregnancy programs in July, but it has Valerie Huber, an abstinence -only sex education advocate, was appointed to a top position at the She adds that the programs weren't all focused narrowly on teen pregnancy , but "were about

Prior to coming to HHS, Huber led Ascend, a national abstinence education advocacy group.

The administration cut short grants for 81 TPP grantees last summer, arguing the programs, which focused mostly on comprehensive sex ed, were ineffective at curbing teen pregnancy rates.

Those grantees would be able to receive funding if they shifted the focus of their programs toward abstinence.

Democrats argue the changes are ideological and will jeopardize record-low teen pregnancy rates in the U.S.

"Both Democrats and Republicans have supported investing in evidence-based approaches to preventing teen pregnancy, so it is disappointing - and deeply concerning - that the Trump-Pence Administration is doing everything it can to undermine these investments in ways that take us in the absolutely wrong direction on this issue," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health Committee. "These changes show yet again that the Trump-Pence Administration's priority is imposing its extreme, backwards ideology, no matter what that means for women, families, and communities."

Groups working to stop teen pregnancy alarmed by Trump shift .
The administration is shifting the focus of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program more toward abstinence education.The administration is shifting the focus of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) more toward abstinence education, and groups will have to get onboard if they want to continue receiving financial support from the federal government

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