On Friday, Trump Administration made an announcement that the federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) being founded in 2019 by the Obama Administration will be subjected to considerable changes toward abstinence education. The program provides funding to schools and individual communities to fight teen pregnancy with “comprehensive sex-education.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) claimed that the Obama-era program has been unsuccessful at best.
The omnibus spending bill financed TPPP with $108 million for the fiscal year 2018, but in an attempt to efficiently decrease teen pregnancy and improve sexual health, such grants are expected to be attached to abstinence-focused education per the administration. The Hill reports:
In a funding announcement released Friday, the administration announced two tiers of funds for the TPP program.
In the first, grantees would have to follow one of two abstinence programs to receive funding.
One of the programs uses a “sexual risk reduction model,” which is designed to reduce sexual risk behaviors.
The other program uses a “sexual risk avoidance model,” which teaches teens to avoid sex completely.
Overall, level one will award up to $61 million in funds, varying from $200,000 to $500,000 per year.The second level requires applications to develop and test “new and innovative strategies” to prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health and addressing “youth sexual risk holistically by focusing on protective factors.”
“Projects will clearly communicate that teen sex is a risk behavior for both the physical consequences of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; as well as sociological, economic and other related risks,” stated the announcement, adding, “Both risk avoidance and risk reduction approaches can and should include skills associated with helping youth delay sex as well as skills to help those youth already engaged in sexual risk to return to risk-free choices in the future.”
The HHS has released an August press claiming that the Obama-era program had a negative effect toward teen behavior and was a waste of taxpayer dollars. “Overall, of the 37 funded and evaluated projects, 73% either had no impact or had a negative impact on teen behavior, with some teens more likely to begin having sex, to engage in unprotected sex, or to become pregnant. Very few positive results were sustained over time,” said the report.