Federal funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs around the country was stripped last month by the Trump Administration. A five year-grant that was awarded to 81 organizations in the country has now been cut to three years.
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States has dropped continuously over the last two decades, going from 61.8 births per 1,000 females between the ages of 15 and 19 to 24.2 births per 1,000 teen females in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Though there is a steep decline in 2010 when the grant from the Department of Health and Human Service took effect, some argue that the grants may have influenced this trend, but are not the only reason.
“Some of that leaves you scratching your head wondering, why mess with success?” stated Bill Albert, chief innovation officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The loss of funding for these programs has pushed health commissioners that are a part of the Big Cities Health Coalition to write a letter to the Secretary of the Depart of Health and Human Services, Thomas Price, which stated that “cutting TPPP funding and shortening the project period will not only reverse historic gains made in the U.S. in reducing teen pregnancy rates, but also make it difficult to truly understand what practices are most effective in our communities across the nation.”
Meanwhile, one of these organizations is a Los Angeles based organization directed by Luanne Rohrbach called “Keeping It Real Together.” Keeping It Real Together (KIR-T) “works to improve sexual health for Los Angeles County youth with access to medically accurate information and age appropriate services,” as stated on the organization’s website. KIR-T is “funded by a 5-year grant from the Office of Adolescent Health (2015-2020),” according to its website.
Teen pregnancy prevention programs like KIR-T were operated under the Obama administration in 2010 to inform the youth in our country about sexually transmitted diseases, as well as on abstinence.