Health

Trump Cuts $214 Million From Teen Pregnancy Prevention

| by Michael Allen
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The Trump administration cut nearly $214 million from teenage pregnancy prevention programs.

The Department of Health and Human Services cut $213.6 million from 80 medical institutions' programs, including Johns Hopkins University, Chicago Department of Public Health, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, according to Reveal.

"We are just reeling," said Jennifer Hettema, an associate research professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. "We’re not sure how we’ll adapt."

The Obama administration created the scientifically-based programs to help teens avoid unwanted pregnancies.

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A HHS spokesperson said: "All of these grantees were given a project end date of June 30, 2018, allowing the grantees an opportunity to adjust their program and plan for an orderly close out."

However, some of the institutes that received the grant money told Reveal they were not aware of the massive cuts until the news site contacted them.

Luanne Rohrbach, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, told the news site: "We took decades of research on how to effectively approach prevention and have applied it on a large scale nationally. We’re not out there doing what feels good. We’re doing what we know is effective. There are a lot of data from the program to show that it works."

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, a doctor, has been an outspoken opponent of comprehensive sex education. When he was a U.S. Rep. for Georgia, Price told Georgia Public Radio how he supported abstinence-only programs, and said other types of sex education "promotes promiscuity among young people."

Valerie Huber, chief of staff for the office of the assistant secretary for health, used to serve as president of Ascend, an organization previously known as the National Abstinence Education Association, reports Reveal.

Huber co-wrote a paper in 2014 that opposed comprehensive sex education for teens:

Pro-sex organizations used every opportunity to attack abstinence education. This agenda was (and is) at least as much about destroying abstinence education as it is about supporting ‘comprehensive’ sex education … The current Obama administration has used its fiscal scalpel to eliminate the growth of abstinence education within America’s school systems.

The CDC released a study in June 2017 that found fewer millennials in their teens were having sex compared to their older counterparts in Generation X, noted Newsweek.

Forty-two percent of females (ages 15-19) self-reported having sex, while 44 percent of males affirmed they had. In 1988, 51 percent of teen females said they had sex, while 60 percent of male teens reported they'd had sexual intercourse.

Eric Garrison, a certified clinical and forensic sexologist who not part of the study, told Newsweek: "Because sex education and public health have been sharing the same bed now for a few decades, that union has produced a more sexually intelligent America than in years past. And there is still so much left to do."

Sources: Reveal, Georgia Public Radio, Newsweek / Photo Credit: CDC/Wikimedia Commons (2) (3)

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