New Information Released on HHS Termination of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants

Today, NBC News released information from the internal notes of federal officials, highlighting reasons behind the early termination of federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program funding. The program was just beginning year three of a 5 year funding cycle when the change was announced last July. Although no poor outcomes were cited as a reason to cancel the program, the evaluation was not complete for most participating programs, which had only one year of implementation.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s only Teen Pregnancy Prevention grantee, the potential loss of funding will leave local young people vulnerable

In Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s only TPP grantee, the potential loss of funding will leave local young people vulnerable; fewer teens will have access to age-appropriate, and sound, resources. The National Survey of Family Growth tells us that 90% of Americans will have sex before marriage. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that more than 50% of high school students will have had sex before graduating. Ohio is already grappling with some of the highest rates of infant mortality in the country, and teen and unplanned pregnancy – most common among young women aged 18-24 – are factors in these high rates.

Teen pregnancy prevention program funding cuts a blow to Cuyahoga County but we're hopeful funding will be restored Click To Tweet

The power of the TPP program, and the curriculum offered through the program, is that it discusses the benefits of abstinence, and also offers information about contraception and the prevention of HIV and STIs for teenagers―so they are prepared if and when they need that information. Importantly, healthy relationships, communicating and consent are also covered in TPP curriculums.

We are hopeful TPP funding is restored in light of this new information. We know from community conversations with local teenagers, hosted by the Collaborative for Comprehensive School Aged Health, that young people want consistent and cumulative sex education. They want opportunities to role play “real life” situations, and they want knowledgeable adults sharing information with them—TPP provides the resources to make that happen.