White House Pushes Abstinence Over Effectiveness in Teen Pregnancy Programs

The foregoing headline is followed by a story in today’s New York Times by Pam Belluck, a story that notes “The new rules favor ‘sexual risk avoidance.”  This story is very bad and very costly news.  Consider this background information: Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), an evidence-based program to prevent teen pregnancy across the U.S., was notified by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that grants would be terminated at the end of the 2018 federal fiscal year, two years before the projects were due to end.  In Texas, this program has helped Texas Teen birth rate drop to a low of 33 per 1000 in 2015 from a high of 78.4 per 1000 in 1991.  /This data appeared in The Austin American-Statesman, March 15, 2018, in guest view point by Molly Clayton.

Those of us who gathered yesterday for Friends for Civil Action’s 17th Postcard Storm, sent the following messages to our U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative:

Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program helped the Texas teen birth rate drop to a low of 33 per 1000 in 2015 from a high of 78.4 per 1000 in 1991. It’s been proposed this program be cut from the federal budget, a very costly cut for the future, as each early pregnancy creates a new fragile family often in need of social service dollars for generations.

Those of you reading this post are encouraged to send the same message or call it in. When you deliver your message, provide your name as it appears on your voter’s registration, your mailing address and zip, to make your position eligible for tallying. A quick internet search of Congressional Districts will provide you with the easy prompts you need to get the contact information for your elected officials.  Following the “do unto others as you would have them do to you, ” civil messages are recommended, and dropping unneeded modifiers helps.

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