Bal­ti­more wins law­suit over fed­eral cuts to teen preg­nancy preven­tion pro­gram

Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

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.

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