He’s trying to push abstinence-only education.
Over 81 teen pregnancy prevention programs that were expecting government funding through the end of June 2020 will now only receive funds through June 2018, thanks to a recent decision by the Trump administration, according to a Reveal report. The Office of Adolescent Health sent a letter obtained by Reveal that stops this funding two years early, which means these initiatives will lose $213.6 million.
The defunded efforts include STI testing clinics, classes for parents to learn how to talk to teens about sex, and sex education programs. They also include research projects that won’t have time to be completed, rendering the data they’ve collected pointless.
This is part of a larger Trump administration effort to make sex education exclusively abstinence-only, Pat Paluzzi, president and CEO of Healthy Teen Network, told Reveal. The proposed budget he announced earlier this year gives $277 to abstinence-only education, according to Quartz. This is worrisome, since states with curriculums teaching abstinence-only education have higher teen pregnancy rates, according to a study in PLOS ONE.
The teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. is currently lower than ever, but between this and the Obamacare replacement bill’s potential to defund Planned Parenthood and leave people without insurance, this trend could be in danger of reversing.