Trump’s move to ax teen pregnancy prevention programs hits Philly

     (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

    (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

    From Seattle, to right here in Philadelphia, organizations testing and evaluating programs meant to lower teen pregnancy rates are losing funding earlier than expected.

    The Trump administration will end funds for some teen pregnancy-prevention programs started under President Barack Obama. Philadelphia’s Public Health Management Corporation is losing its grant two years early.

    The organization is working on one of the only interventions focused on boys and young men. It’s an adaptation of an HIV/AIDS prevention program that had success in the ’90s.

    Instead of ending in 2020, the project will end in 2018.

    “My reaction was shock and surprise,” said Archana Bodas LaPollo, the senior project director.

    Teen pregnancy has been on the decline for two decades, but among African-Americans in Philadelphia — which this program focuses on — the teen birth rate is four times as high as for their white counterparts, she said.

    This study in particular was focused on addressing African-American teen boys and young men with more effective interventions.

    But without those two years for rigorous analysis and evaluation, Bodas LaPollo said, that can’t happen.

    She said she’ll be looking for at least part of the $1.5 million elsewhere to complete the study.

    Meanwhile, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Tom Farley and others are urging U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to reconsider. Some health departments, including Seattle’s, are appealing the decision.

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