Planned Parenthood Affiliates Awarded Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Grants
Washington, DC — Today the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health announced new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grants. The grants fund evidence-based and promising approaches to teen pregnancy prevention. However, the program is currently under threat of elimination by Congress.
“The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is a huge step forward in preventing teen pregnancy in the United States,” said Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, vice president of education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It has shifted the field toward making investments in evidence-based approaches to pregnancy prevention. As partners in implementing the program in several states and communities, it is devastating to learn that there is risk of losing this critical funding just as the country is making historic progress in reducing teen pregnancy.”
Although teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have declined considerably over the past few decades, the US still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among comparable countries, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Each year, an estimated 600,000 teenagers become pregnant. In addition, half of the 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year will be diagnosed among young people aged 15-24.
To address these high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program replicates evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and provides resources to develop and test new, promising programs. The first round of grants was awarded in 2010 and has reached a quarter of a million young people. Despite these successes, Congress recently called for the near elimination of funding for the program, with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees proposing reducing funding by 90% and 80% respectively.
“The evidence is undeniable: When young people get programs that work — the types of programs funded by the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program — they delay having sex and use birth control when they do have sex,” said Kantor. “These are exactly the kind of investments Congress should be making — those that research shows make a real difference. Teen pregnancy rates are at their lowest ever in this country — but we could easily go backward if we don’t continue to fund the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.”
Despite the potential funding cuts, today the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health announced the grant winners for $101 million in new funding to be awarded to nonprofit organizations, states, school districts and other groups for evidence-based and promising teen pregnancy prevention programs. The awards are for five years.
Eight Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country — in collaboration with community partners — were selected to receive funding. Several other Planned Parenthood affiliates were selected to receive funding in partnership with other groups and local schools.
“As the oldest, largest and most trusted provider of pregnancy prevention programs in the country, Planned Parenthood is proud to work with other community-based organizations, schools, and public health agencies to provide outstanding programs and link young people to the health services that help teens prevent unintended pregnancies,” added Kantor.
The following Planned Parenthood affiliates will receive teen pregnancy prevention grants:
The Northwest Coalition for Adolescent Health (NWCAH), a group of Planned Parenthood affiliates covering seven states and a large portion of the western United States (Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, Planned Parenthood of Montana, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, and Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood) will collaborate on four projects.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho
Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho, along with more than 40 formal partners in the Inland Northwest Healthy Youth Collaborative will implement evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs to scale in four high-need communities in Washington.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland plans to implement evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs in six counties in Iowa and Nebraska through the proposed project.
In addition, several Planned Parenthood affiliates are partnering with local community-based organizations, schools, and agencies as sub-grantees offering professional development for providers, technical assistance, and implementation of evidence-based programs and research projects.
As the nation’s largest provider of sex education and pregnancy prevention programs, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the power of education to help teens make responsible decisions about their health. Every year, Planned Parenthood provides educational programs to 1.5 million people of all ages, and every day, Planned Parenthood works in schools and communities across the country to provide high-quality sex education programs. Over 100 studies have shown that high-quality sex education helps young people delay sex and use condoms and contraception when they do become sexually active — the behaviors that are necessary to preventing pregnancy.
- In 2010, public spending on teen childbearing totaled an estimated $9.4 billion. Investments in effective teen pregnancy prevention programs are not only providing young people with the information and skills they need to make healthy decisions; they are also good for taxpayers.
- Thanks to increased access to contraception and comprehensive sex education, teen pregnancy rates are at a 40-year low.
The effort to eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program would shatter the country’s critical investment in the health and well-being of young people. Since 2010, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program has reached 225,000 young people with programs that are based on proven evidence.
Thanks to the leadership of the Office of Adolescent Health, Planned Parenthood and other providers of education and health services have moved toward providing more evidence-based programs. For example, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts developed the program Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education that Works, a program for middle school students which has recently been added to the Department of Health and Human Services list of evidence-based programs.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
July 06, 2015