by Melanie Sevcenko
Just two years into the federally-funded Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has announced it plans to pull the plug on funding in June of next year.
That’s two years shy of the five years of funding the program promised.
Moreover, the announcement to shorten the TPPP funds, issued by the Office of Adolescent Health on Jul. 6, came with no warning, explanation or alternative.
The lack of dollars, say Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) – a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments – will severely impact evidence-based programs, services, and research for reducing teen pregnancies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four teens will become pregnant by age 20.
In protest to the funding cut, 37 Democratic senators sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, questioning why crucial funding is being yanked out of public health departments across the U.S, two years too soon.
Days later, the BCHC sent its own letter to Price, signed by 20 health commissioners and echoing the sentiment of the senators.
The health advocates argue that the TPPP has made unprecedented progress in reducing teen pregnancies.