Third judge rules against Trump admin on cuts to teen pregnancy program

Third judge rules against Trump admin on cuts to teen pregnancy program
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The Trump administration was handed another loss Wednesday evening in a case surrounding its abrupt cuts to grants for organizations participating in a federal teen pregnancy prevention program. 

Judge Catherine Blake in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the administration's decision to end grants two years early for organizations participating in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program was "arbitrary" and "capricious," and that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would have to process applications for continued funding for the group involved in the lawsuit. 

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It marks the third time a federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration for cutting the grants, which were supposed to end in 2020. 

This case was brought by Democracy Forward, which represented the Baltimore City Health Department.

“This ruling means that Baltimore City students will continue to receive evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention education delivered by teachers specially trained to teach these important curricula," Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement Thursday. 

Another federal judge ruled in a separate case Tuesday evening that the administration would have to process grant applications for Planned Parenthood, and last week, another judge ruled in favor of four other grantees represented by the Public Citizen Litigation Group. 

The administration last summer cut grants two years early for 81 groups participating in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, a grant program created under former President Obama that awarded funds to groups working to lower teen pregnancy rates.  

The program has been criticized by some Republicans and conservative groups for its heavy focus on comprehensive sex ed, which can include teachings on both contraception and abstinence. 

The cuts were led by Valerie Huber, an HHS official and Trump appointee who led a national abstinence education advocacy group before joining the administration last year. 

Three groups representing eight grantees sued, and won, in their lawsuits against the administration. 

But the remaining grantees who had their funds cut short will have to follow new requirements set by Huber, focusing on abstinence programs if they want to continue receiving funding.