With his willful ignorance of widely-accepted scientific evidence, President Trump has put the environment and many other facets of our lives at risk. Perhaps this is most clear in the Trump budget. Efforts aimed at teen pregnancy prevention are among the evidence-based programs that People For the American Way wants to protect as the budget debate rages on, along with nearly 200 allied organizations led by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Our coalition recently wrote to Congress in favor of continued funding for two pioneering examples of evidence-based policymaking: the Office of Adolescent Health’s (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the Administration for Children and Families’s (ACF) Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and PREP are valuable initiatives worthy of strong federal support:
Since the first round of the [Teen Pregnancy Prevention] Program and PREP grants were awarded in 2010, the teen birth rate in the U.S. has declined 35 percent, about twice as much as the decline in any other five-year period. While no one program could be solely responsible for this decline, it is undeniable that over the past six years these programs have played a leading role in a growing national, state, and local commitment to using proven approaches to reduce teen pregnancy.
There is too much important work left to be done to undermine the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and PREP now:
The teen pregnancy and teen birth rate have declined by an impressive 55 percent and 64 percent respectively since the early 1990s. There have been declines across all racial and ethnic groups, and in all 50 states. Yet it is still the case that roughly one in four girls in this country will become pregnant before the age of 20, and there are disparities by race/ethnicity, age, and geography. In addition, youth in foster care have rates twice as high as youth not in care. The [Teen Pregnancy Prevention] Program and PREP address these disparities by targeting funds to youth and communities with the greatest needs.
One aspect of the PFAW campaign to counter attacks on women’s equality is making sure that programs like the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and PREP not only survive but also thrive.