The reality is that, in America, while teenage pregnancy rates are at record lows, one in four women will still get pregnant by the age of 20, with a disproportionate number of those women coming from poor and minority communities. And yet the Trump administration chose to pull $213.6 million in funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs.
According to Reveal, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization dating back to the 1970s, 81 institutions recently received a letter from the federal Office of Adolescent Health notifying them that the five-year grants they were awarded in 2015 by the Obama administration would be cut by two years' worth of funding.
Those letters, which looked like routine annual grant renewal letters, said funding for the projects would end in 2018, not 2020 as originally planned.
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. According to Reveal, the cuts amount to $213.6 million.
Numerous teen pregnancy grants set to end early target those groups.
But officialsbehind some of the programs and research initiatives being shortchanged told Reveal they anxious the Trump administration's decision to slash funding would leave them without the resources to analyze the data they've collected in the last two years, effectively making their projects relatively useless. Crucial programs like STI testing clinics, classes for parents to learn how to talk to teens about sex, and sex education programs will cease to function and research will be scrapped.
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.
Pat Paluzzi of the Healthy Teen Network in Baltimore, whose app created to answer teens' health questions will be affected, told Reveal, "They don't like to deal with the sexual reproductive health of teens".