Federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Funding Remains Intact

The Administration approved level funding for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs funded by the Office of Adolescent Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services for the remainder of this fiscal year securing funding for the Alliance’s Partners in Youth Program through June 30, 2018.

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is an evidence-based program which goal is to reduce the rate of unintended teen pregnancies among youth in the United States. Data has shown that TPP efforts are positively impacting communities across the country. We know teen birth rates have been steadily declining since the 1990’s, but the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) released new data showing a staggering 35 percent decrease in teen birth rates between 2010 and 2015.

Massachusetts has the lowest teen birth rate in the nation at 9.4 births per 1,000 girls. Despite this success, rates remain high (up to 4 times higher) among communities marked with racial disparities, low educational attainment, high poverty, and high unemployment.

The Alliance’s Partners for Lawrence Youth Program (PLY) is a TPP Program federally funded by the OAH that focuses on one of the most at risk communities.

PLY is a community based program in Lawrence Massachusetts that focuses on preventing teen pregnancies and promotes sexual and reproductive health among Lawrence youth using a community-wide approach. Lawrence is among the top five cities in Massachusetts with highest teen birth rates at 32.4 teen births per 1,000 females.

PLY works to reduce STI rates, promotes healthy youth development, address racial, economic and health disparities that contribute to teen pregnancy and impact the wellness of young families and youth including youth of all genders.

As a collaborative, community based program, PLY is currently working with several implementation partners working on implementing two Evidence Based Interventions (EBI) including Making Proud Choices and Seventeen Days impacting hundreds of youth in the community. Our current implementation partners are Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS), Phoenix Charter Academy, Si Se Puede, the YWCA and The Mayor’s Health Task Force. PLY is excited to soon be working with You Forward, Youth Build, Community Day, and Health Quarters.

It is crucial that TPP programs continue to be funded so we are able to continue our work on empowering youth to make healthy choices and the best reproductive decisions for themselves.

Recently, youth from Si Se Puede shared why they support TPP. — “It has helped me to know to use protection when not wanting to catch a disease and not get pregnant. It also helped me to know that I can go to someone I trust to get advice…”

To learn more about PLY contact Ramani Sripada at rsripada@massteenpregnancy.rog