City Teen Pregnancy Prevention Funding, STD Program Money Cut By Trump

Evrard Martin
Juillet 17, 2017

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. For more than 81 teen pregnancy prevention programs that had been relying on government funding through June 2020, this cut will leave them without funding after June 2018. The Office of Adolescent Health sent a letter obtained by Reveal that stops this funding two years early, which means these initiatives will lose $213.6 million. "This award also shortens the project period to end June 30, 2018, at the end of this budget year", Reveal reported the annual grant award letter said.

The grant to Chicago was included in a $213.6 million program created to reduce teen pregnancy that funded programs at more than 80 institutions around the country.

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. Cut services include education for indigenous teens, guidance for foster care kids, STI testing, and workshops for parents and children to communicate.

Trump, though, wants to fund abstinence-only programs - to the tune of $277 million - despite the fact that teen pregnancy rates are highest in states that teach abstinence-only, and the USA has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world. "Still, the US teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than in other western industrialized nations", the CDC notes on its website, meaning there's still more room for improvement. It's a massive blow to crucial funding for a health issue that now goes against the vehemently pro-life administration, which includes the Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who once said there are literally no women who can not afford birth control and that funding for birth control "is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country".

But many argue abstinence-only programs aren't effective and worry the Trump administration's effort to cut off funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs, combined with Republicans' efforts to slash Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood, will result in the country'steen pregnancy rate rising rather than falling.

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