A letter issued Tuesday from 148 members of Congress to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price demands an explanation for why the Trump administration ended grants for some teen pregnancy prevention programs.
The letter called the Trump administration’s decision “a blow to bipartisan efforts to prevent unplanned teen pregnancies.” It comes after the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal reported this month that HHS had “quietly axed $213.6 million in teen pregnancy prevention programs and research at more than 80 institutions around the country.”
According to the letter, HHS will “shorten the project period for Office of Adolescent Health’s (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Program from five years to three years.”
“The negative impacts of this unnecessary decision cannot be overstated,” the letter continues. “At a time when young people are most in need of information and education to protect their sexual and reproductive health, this administration is denying evidence and science.”
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“Young people deserve better,” it said.
The letter asked for Price to explain who made the decision to cut the program, when that decision was made, and how the decision factored in “the burden and adverse impact for young people being served, the professionals and partnerships, and their communities.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said in a statement that she is “appalled that this administration would abandon the young people who rely on this program to stay healthy.” “This irresponsible decision leaves youth without the information and skills they need to make safe and healthy choices,” she said, adding that “Price must provide an explanation for this egregious action and work with Congress to rectify it immediately.”