Baltimore wins lawsuit over federal cuts to teen pregnancy prevention program
The city of Baltimore won a lawsuit against HHS over its federal funding cuts to teen pregnancy prevention programs, city Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced last week while speaking at Modern Healthcare’s symposium on opioids.
The lawsuit, brought by national not-for-profit Healthy Teen Network in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in February, alleged that HHS reduced federal grants for programs because they did not promote abstinence until marriage.
Healthy Teen Network lost out on a $3.6 million grant award from part of an $8.5 million federal grant to Baltimore’s public health department to provide sex education for 20,000 middle and high school students. The not-for-profit planned to use the funds to develop a sex education app. The city later joined the lawsuit.
Although the federal grant was supposed to last five years and did not pay for birth control, Baltimore learned a few months ago that the grant would be cut off after three years.
Wen credited the programs with helping drop the city’s teen pregnancy rates by 61%. She also argued that Congress had approved the allocation as part of funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative. Lawmakers had specifically told HHS how the funding was to be distributed.