The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $188 million in teen pregnancy prevention grants Thursday. Most of the grants go toward replicating evidence-based programs, with smaller amounts earmarked for abstinence education and testing new approaches.
Some $100 million of the grants come from the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Prevention Program, most of which go to local governments, universities and nonprofits.
Another $55 million comes from the Administration for Children and Families’ Personal Responsibility Education Program, which was created by the health care reform bill signed into law this year. Of that money, $44 million goes to state health departments to conduct programs that include messages about both abstinence and contraception. The rest goes to nonprofits, hospitals and universities to test new strategies for sex education.
The final $33 million, for abstinence education, is almost buried in the department’s announcement of the funds. In fact, the HHS news release touts that “$155 million in teen pregnancy prevention grants are being awarded” – a figure that excludes the abstinence money. The abstinence grants are acknowledged briefly in the penultimate paragraph.
Advocates of abstinence-only education have charged that he Obama administration was going to give such program short shrift in its grants. But abstinence funding was also written into the health care law, as explained here.
HHS announced $27 million in grants yesterday to help teens and young women who are already pregnant or raising children.