Dems say Trump is defying court order by pushing abstinence programs

A group of Democratic senators is accusing President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE of trying to undermine the Obama-era Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in defiance of a court order.

Democratic Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Dems offer smaller step toward ‘Medicare for all' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Powerful House committee turns to drug pricing | Utah governor defies voters on Medicaid expansion | Dems want answers on controversial new opioid MORE (Wis.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCoast Guard lieutenant arrested, accused of planning domestic terrorism Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon Jussie Smollett officially a suspect in alleged Chicago attack MORE (N.J.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union New battle lines in war over Trump’s judicial picks MORE (Hawaii) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayJohnson & Johnson subpoenaed by DOJ and SEC, company says Top Dems blast administration's proposed ObamaCare changes Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE (Wash.) wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar obtained by NBC News that they are concerned “about the Trump Administration’s ongoing attempts to undermine the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program."


The senators say in the letter that the Trump administration has directed funds toward programs that undercut the  initiative, which funds programs that work to prevent teen pregnancy. Conservatives criticized it for funding programs that teach how to use contraception in addition to abstinence.

They note in the letter that HHS recently awarded more than $21 million to the Mitre Corporation for abstinence research.

"By attempting to direct funding in accordance with ideological goals, rather than towards the development of evidence-based practices, the Trump-Pence Administration is undoing years of progress towards supporting adolescent sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing," the senators write.

The Trump administration in 2017 moved to make cuts to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

A federal judge earlier this year ruled those cuts unlawful, ordering HHS to process the applications of four organizations whose funding through the program had been targeted for termination.