URGENT: Save the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
The Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy was notified early this week that our five-year Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP) grant has been shortened to three years with an end date of June 2018. This change impacts all 81 national TPP grantees. As you may remember, the federal TPP Program funds our Partners for Youth Lawrence Program, a collaborative, community-based program that uses a holistic approach to prevent teenage pregnancy and promote sexual and reproductive health among Lawrence Youth.
To quote our well-respected partners at SIECUS —
“This is not normal. To many collective, institutional-memory brains, an en masse shortening of a project period without cause or funding cut — Congress hasn’t determined FY 2018 funding yet and in fact is just starting it’s process this week — is unprecedented. We believe this signals that HHS policy leadership is banking on TPP funding being eliminated, or if not eliminated, planning on reissuing new Funding Opportunity Announcements to direct the TPP funding toward ‘sexual risk avoidance education’ (abstinence-only-until-marriage programs) grantees.”
We need you to take action now!
Tomorrow at 4:30 pm Eastern, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), the committee with jurisdiction over the TPP Program and Title X, will meet to mark up (consider) the FY 2018 LHHS spending bill.
Tell them, that the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund delivers evidence-based prevention programs. While teen birth rates have been at a record low in the Commonwealth, they remain high in certain communities marked by economic and racial disparities. Read more in our recent article in the Boston Globe.
If the TPP Program is discontinued, and funding is directed toward abstinence-only education we can expect to see that teen birth rates will rise.
Please act now!