HHS to focus teen pregnancy prevention grants on abstinence organizations

HHS will shift the availability grants provided by its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to organizations that emphasize abstinence education as opposed to a comprehensive sexual education curriculum, according to The Hill.

Eligible grantees will fall into two tiers of funding. For the first tier, grantees will either use a "sexual risk reduction model" or "sexual risk avoidance model."

"Projects will clearly communicate that teen sex is a risk behavior for both the physical consequences of pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections; as well as sociological, economic and other related risks," the funding announcement reads, according to The Hill. "Both risk avoidance and risk reduction approaches can and should include skills associated with helping youth delay sex as well as skills to help those youth already engaged in sexual risk to return toward risk-free choices in the future." 

The second tier of programs must develop "new and innovative" teen pregnancy prevention strategies and address "youth sexual risk" with protective measures.

In the summer of 2017, the Trump administration cut grants short for 81 Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grantees that were set for a 2020 expiration, which garnered multiple countersuits.

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