Healthy Teen Network takes positions on public policies and public policy proposals of importance to adolescents, young adults, their families, and their communities. We organize our positions in the topic areas of
- health promotion,
- adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and
- support for young people who are pregnant or parenting.
- Preserve Federal Capacity to Ensure Social Determinants of Health
Expand and Protect Medicaid
- Healthy Teen Network urges all states to implement the Medicaid expansion provisions of the ACA.
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Fully Fund Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
- Fully Fund Reproductive Health Services Programs
Support for Young People Who Are Pregnant or Parenting
- Ensure Pregnant and Parenting Student Access to Education
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA) builds upon and strengthens current federal investments in adolescent sexual health that are being made through the President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). The authorization for PREP expires in FY 2017. Authorization for TPPP is currently provided annually through appropriations legislation.
REHYA would require federally-funded sexuality education programs to go beyond offering medically accurate and developmentally appropriate information on preventing unintended pregnancy and STIs, including HIV to also include: anatomy and physiology, growth and development, healthy relationships, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, protection from dating violence, sexual assault, bullying, harassment, educational achievement, critical thinking, decision-making, self-efficacy, and leadership skills and community involvement. In addition, the REHYA would go beyond current federal programs by adding emphasis areas in educator preparation and sexuality education to young adults at institutions of higher education. Moreover, by establishing a policy that requires a comprehensive approach, it would nullify several federal programs that fund abstinence-only education.
Healthy Teen Network supports appropriations of at least $130 million for TPPP. Healthy Teen Network supports appropriations of at least $50 million for CDC DASH. Further, Healthy Teen Network supports the establishment of additional grant programs aimed at providing comprehensive sexuality education to adolescents and young adults in schools and institutions of higher education.
In 2009, Healthy Teen Network issued A Policy Platform to Promote Health and Success among Young Families. Still relevant today, the recommendations are aimed at establishing or reforming programs and systems that influence whether or not young families may achieve health and success after a teen birth.
Healthy Teen Network worked with Crittenton Services of Greater Washington to collect testimonials from young parents describing the challenges their families face, and we have tied those challenges to the public policy recommendations offered in A Policy Platform to Promote Health and Success among Young Families. The testimonials are available on the Healthy Teen Network YouTube Channel:
- Alba speaks on the lack of financial supports for young parents.
- Lisette speaks on the PEARLS program.
- Uniqwa speaks on education.
- Lisette speaks on education.
- Uniqwa speaks on changing relationships.
- Alba speaks on the challenges of finding work.
- Alba speaks on education.
- Uniqwa speaks on the challenges of financially supporting her son.