- The Trump administration is usually cutting teen pregnancy prevention programs
- Yet many researchers, program directors, youth advocates along with city health officials argue for them to stay
“the idea’s definitely made me more comfortable around health providers, because I was very nervous along with not willing to talk about the idea, nevertheless then once I joined wish Buffalo, the idea’s an easy subject to talk about. Well, not that will easy, nevertheless the idea’s easy enough to talk about that will I don’t feel so uncomfortable,” said Ely, who will be entering her junior year in high school This particular month.
While volunteering with wish Buffalo at a local community center, Ely said, she remembered meeting another teenage girl, sharing sexual health information with her along with feeling like she made a difference.
“She took in all the information, along with she said she would likely not get pregnant until she was 28 or 30,” Ely said. “I joined wish Buffalo because I wanted to make a change in my community along with make sure that will these teenagers who didn’t have a voice had a voice.”
Yet federal funding for such teen pregnancy prevention programs from the United States is usually right now on the chopping block.
Instead, the US Department of Health along with Human Services said in a statement that will the idea’s continuing to review best approaches, which the idea says “will be guided by science along that has a firm commitment to giving all youth the information along with skills they need to improve their prospects for optimal health outcomes.”
Among the leadership within the Department of Health along with Human Services, Secretary Tom cost along with Valerie Huber, chief of staff to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, have been proponents of abstinence-only education programs.
‘Took me completely by surprise’
Around the Fourth of July, Stan Martin, project director of wish Buffalo, received a notice via Health along with Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health that will indicated funding would likely end next June, after just three years, instead of continuing to fund the program for the expected a few years.
different grant recipients of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program across the country received the same notice.
“This particular news took me completely by surprise,” Ranalli said.
“My immediate thought was definitely about all of the incredible work that will was in progress with grantees in South Carolina along with Oklahoma along with Baltimore along with Buffalo along with Los Angeles along with so many different locations,” she said.
Martin said wish Buffalo will be turning to local partners for help. The organization already partners with community centers, public schools along with faith-based groups.
“The community itself, they’re demanding that will adolescents have access to these resources, to This particular information, regardless of funding,” Martin said.
Moving forward, “our youth leadership team, they’re heavily involved in every decision that will we make. They’ll be educating the community in terms of what This particular program means to them,” he said. “I think the idea’s our duty as caring adults that will we provide a sense of purpose or wish for adolescents.”
Ely hopes wish Buffalo continues, she said. “the idea has changed my life completely.”
Officials spar over teen pregnancy
“The very weak evidence of positive impact of these programs stands in stark contrast to the promised results, jeopardizing the youth who were served, while also proving to be a poor use of more than $800 million in taxpayer dollars,” the statement said.
“The poor evaluation results were the reason that will the Trump Administration, in its FY 2018 budget proposal, did not recommend continued funding for the TPP program along with HHS hit the pause button on the idea,” the statement said. “This particular action gives the Department time to continue its review of the program along with the evidence, to ensure that will should Congress continue the idea, the program provides positive reinforcement of the healthy decisions being made by a growing majority of teens.”
Many researchers, program directors along with city health officials argue against hitting “the pause button.”
“If the justification for cutting short the current grants is usually the result via the last round of grantees, then the idea misses two key big points,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen along with Unplanned Pregnancy, a grantee of federal funds.
“The way that will OAH has learned via results along with used them to strengthen the TPP Program is usually exactly what you’d expect of a high-quality evidence-based initiative,” he said.
In different words, he said, the idea is usually important not to confuse the success of the overall learning along with development process with individual program products that will were evaluated.
The letter indicated that will teen birth rates from the US dropped to a record low last year, following a long-term trend, along with the letter suggested that will reducing funding for teen prevention programs might reverse that will trend.
Still, Albert said that will “there are plenty of reasons” not to give up on the existing teen pregnancy programs quite yet.
‘Another attack on women’
“Rates of pregnancy along with births among teens in This particular country far, far outstrip those in different comparable countries. Our rates, for example, are twice as high as in England, about seven times as high as in Japan,” Albert said.
“With all the progress that will has been made, there remains great along with profound disparities in teen pregnancy along with childbearing in This particular country, by race along with ethnicity along with by geography,” he added.
The study found that will a cluster of teenage births in along with around Fort Worth, Texas, between 2006 along with 2012 represented a teen birth rate 58% higher than the rest of the contiguous country, even after adjusting for poverty differences.
“that will alone demonstrates that will funding is usually needed,” said Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health along with Human Services, who signed the Big Cities Health Coalition letter.
Regarding the cuts in funding, he said, “I think the idea was short-sighted along with definitely another attack on women as the idea relates to focusing on women’s health.”
When Wen learned about the cuts, she initially thought the idea was a mistake, she said, along with right now she disputes the conclusions that will were put forth from the Department of Human along with Health Services’ statement.
“This particular grant allowed us to have comprehensive reproductive health education in middle schools along with high schools throughout our city. … In terms of evaluation, we’re only a few months into the implementation. So we don’t know. We don’t develop the data yet about the full potential of what we can achieve,” Wen said.
“We see the idea as being irresponsible to cut This particular program right now, especially because the justification via the older type is usually wrong, along with so we highly contest This particular statement” via the Department of Health along with Human Services, she said.
Patty Hayes, director of public health for Seattle along with King County, said she has seen the teen prevention programs have a positive impact in her community.
“If something works, you invest from the idea,” she said. “We need for our community to respect science, to move forward with This particular along with to make sure that will we are not moving backwards. … I’m very wound up about This particular.”
As for the Department of Human along with Health Services’ statement, Hayes said she was shocked by the way the department characterized the program.
“Their comments show they are not even aware of the focus of grantees who are doing research like ours. The point of evaluation is usually to learn what works, in what contexts along with with which populations,” Hayes said.
right now, Dehlendorf has to break the news to the teens involved in her research that will Speak Out may no longer continue due to funding cuts.
“I definitely feel like not being able to evaluate along with disseminate This particular intervention is usually an insult to those young people who have put in their time along with their expertise in helping us figure out how to accomplish our goals,” Dehlendorf said, adding that will she also will not be able to obtain scientifically valid results via the research.