The Trump administration has cut $213.6 million in teen pregnancy and STI prevention programs across the US, affecting many vulnerable populations.
The reality is that, in America, while teenage pregnancy rates are at record lows, one in four women will still get pregnant by the age of 20, with a disproportionate number of those women coming from poor and minority communities.
But this week, the federal Office of Adolescent Health sent letters to those 81 organizations informing them that their funding would end in 2018 - two years early. By 2014, the birth rate for teenagers between 15 and 17 was down 72% since 1991. But yes, it's cutting the $213.6 million to help teens that's really going to save the country from debt.
While it's not completely clear what has helped bring the USA teen pregnancy rate down, the CDC says "evidence suggests" the decline is due in part to more sexually active teens using birth control and more teens abstaining from sex altogether. Crucial programs like STI testing clinics, classes for parents to learn how to talk to teens about sex, and sex education programs will cease to function and research will be scrapped. They also include research projects that won't have time to be completed, rendering the data they've collected pointless. "Still, the USA teen pregnancy rate is substantially higher than in other western industrialized nations", the CDC notes on its website, meaning there's still more room for improvement. But the USA teen pregnancy rate is still "substantially higher" than in other western, industrialized nations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a year ago. It's a massive blow to crucial funding for a health issue that now goes against the vehemently pro-life administration, which includes the Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who once said there are literally no women who can not afford birth control and that funding for birth control "is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country".
Reveal News reports that a decision from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will end five-year grants awarded by the Obama administration that were given to programs created to help teenagers make healthy decisions around sex.