Trump admin to fund $10 million teen pregnancy prevention effort
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $10 million research endeavor Friday to “support and improve” teen pregnancy prevention programs, including efforts that encourage teens to avoid sex.
HHS will partner with two outside research firms — Mathematica Policy Research and RTI International — to identify and test new ideas and models, HHS said in a statement.
The project is being funded from a “variety of sources,” HHS said, including funds set aside for support and evaluation within the HHS Office of Adolescent Health.
The project will focus on the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), a national program created in 2010 under former President Barack Obama that mostly funded projects that taught teens about safe sex.
Officials within the Trump administration have pushed for an approach like “sexual risk avoidance,” which encourages teen abstinence, rather than programs supported by the Obama administration that taught teens about safe sex.
According to HHS, the project seeks “scientific and data-driven answers” to questions such as: “What economic impact does sexual delay have on the individual and on society as a whole?” and “Is it possible for youth who are currently engaged in risky behaviors to make healthier choices in the future?”
Earlier this year, the Trump administration informed the current recipients of the TPPP grants that their programs would end next year, rather than in 2020, a cut of about $200 million over two years.
A spokesman for HHS told The Hill at the time that the programs were cut short because there was little evidence they had a positive impact.
Under Obama, HHS approved 44 pregnancy prevention programs to coincide with their grants. Only three were abstinence education programs.
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