By Jessie Hellman
The Trump administration has abruptly cut short grant programs aimed at ending teen pregnancy, leaving the institutions that receive the funds scrambling for answers.
An office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified 81 institutions across the U.S. that the five-year grants they were awarded would end two years sooner than planned.
The TPPP has funded initiatives in 39 states, including one run by the Baltimore City Health Department.
“There was no communication about the reason. The notice of the award just stated that instead of a five-year grant, it is now a three-year grant,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.
The Big Cities Health Coalition, which is made up of health officials from 28 major cities, called on Price on Wednesday to reconsider the decision to cut the funds and shorten the project period.
“Ending what was intended to be five year TPPP grants two years early is highly disruptive to ongoing work in localities across the country. These cuts will negatively affect the lives of young people currently participating in these programs, and will mean fewer project jobs, fewer trained professionals, and reduced community partnerships,” the officials wrote in a letter to Price.
“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.”