Public Policy Recommendation: Fully Fund Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Date: October 24, 2016

2017 Public Policy Recommendation: Fully Fund Teen Pregnancy Prevention

See also: Our summary of Healthy Teen Network Public Policy Recommendations.

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Topic:                  Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Subject:                  Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Recommendation: Fully Fund Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Congressional Action Request

  • S. Senators: Persuade colleagues to include at least $137 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and $50 million for CDC HIV School Health activities in FY 2018 appropriations legislation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Support legislation to reauthorize the Personal Responsibility Education Program through at least FY 2019.
  • S. Representatives: Persuade colleagues to include at least $137 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and $50 million for CDC HIV School Health activities in FY 2018 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Support legislation to reauthorize the Personal Responsibility Education Program through at least FY 2019.

Issue Status

Congress appropriated $107.8 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) in FY 2017, with $101 million for TPPP services and $6.8 million for TPPP evaluation. Congress appropriated $33.1 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) in FY 2017. Congress reauthorized the Personal Responsibility Education Program, with a mandatory appropriation of $50 million, through FY 2017.

The President’s FY 2018 Budget Request recommends elimination of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP). The President’s FY 2018 Budget Request retains $6.8 million for TPPP evaluation. The President’s FY 2018 Budget Request recommends reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) at $75 million for each of FY 2018 and FY 2019.

The House of Representatives version of FY 2018 appropriations legislation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services terminates the TPPP program. The Senate Appropriations Committee version of FY 2018 appropriations legislation for HHS maintains current the current funding level for TPPP.

Congress is currently considering reauthorization of the Personal Responsibility Education Program.

Why This Matters

  • Ever year in the United States, there are approximately 625,000 pregnancies to children and youth ages 19 and younger.
  • Though teen pregnancy rates in the United States have declined since the early 1990s, it is still the case that one in four girls in the U.S. will become pregnant once before the age of 20.
  • The United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world, thereby impairing our global competitiveness.
  • Among teens who gave birth in the United States, 50 percent were not using birth control, and 31 percent believed they could not become pregnant, demonstrating the need for sexual health education programs.
  • Nearly eight in ten adults say more efforts to prevent teen pregnancy are needed in their community.
  • In 2015, the federal government was able to fund only one in five applications for sexual health education resources made available through the TPP program.
  • In sum, preventive sexual and reproductive health education and services are cost-effective, save federal resources in the long term, and improve youth, family, and public health outcomes.

Background

The federal government currently invests in adolescent sexual health education through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), HIV school health activities within the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) with the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB).

The TPPP addresses teen pregnancy by supporting grantees in replicating evidence-based models and implementing demonstration programs to develop and test additional models and innovative strategies. Competitive contracts and grants are made to public and private entities to fund medically accurate and age appropriate programs that reduce teen pregnancy. The authorization for TPPP is currently provided annually through appropriations laws.

CDC DASH provides funding for communities, state, territorial, and local educational agencies, and tribal governments to assist communities, school districts, and schools in implementing effective policies, programs, and practices to prevent sexual risk behaviors among students that contribute to HIV infection, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy. The authorization for CDC’s HIV School Health activities is currently provided annually through appropriations laws.

PREP awards grants to State agencies, community-based organizations, and tribal entities to educate young people on both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. PREP projects replicate effective, evidence-based program models or substantially incorporate elements of projects that have been proven to delay sexual activity, increase condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, or reduce pregnancy among youth. PREP projects also offer services to prepare young people for adulthood.  The authorization for PREP expires September 30, 2017.

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Citation: Healthy Teen Network (1 October 2017). Public policy recommendation: Fully fund Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs. Baltimore: Author.

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