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Teen Pregnancy Cut Hits Home

Just two weeks ago the Trump Administration announced it would cut over $200 million of funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs across the country. Here in Connecticut, loss of funding hits home. Since 2010, CWEALF is proud to be the evaluator for Hartford’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (HTPPI), a federally funded program through the City of Hartford that implements evidence-based sexual health programs, promotes community mobilization efforts, and evaluates the clinical needs in the city. With the Trump Administration decision to end these grants, the HTPPI will need to shut down its work two years prior to its grant end in 2020.

A quarter of U.S. girls become pregnant by age 20.  Despite national teen birth rates declining, they remain high in urban areas and among women of color. Hartford alone has reduced teen pregnancies by 40% with this program since 2010, exceeding the original goal of a 10% reduction for the 2010-2015 grant period.

A recent article from Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting explains that the cut of funding prevents evaluators such as CWEALF to demonstrate the final impact of the project. Plus, there is speculation that more funding will instead go towards funding for more abstinence-only until marriage programs. A ten year study from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains that abstinence-only programs do not delay sexual initiation as compared to their control group and do not reduce teen pregnancy rates and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

HTPPI, as an evidence-based intervention, provides accessible knowledge to the youth of Hartford that for many may be their only way to gain awareness about their own anatomy, STIs, and pregnancy prevention measures. This program empowers young women and girls by providing them with an education that enables them to make their own informed, safe decisions regarding their own reproductive health and life.

CWEALF remains steadfast in its support of evidence-based interventions such as HTPPI and is proud to continue its work with the City of Hartford to prevent teen pregnancy. We hope there are future opportunities to build on the success that Hartford has seen with this federal grant and to continue to demonstrate to state and federal leaders the effectiveness of these programs.

Marisa Feijóo, Research and Evaluation Intern, CWEALF

By Marisa Feijóo at 26 Jul 2017, 13:00 PM



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