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Trump admin. cuts target contraceptive-based sex ed.

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WASHINGTON (BP) — Teen pregnancy prevention programs that advocate the use of contraceptives have been notified by the Trump administration their federal funding will be cut by more than $200 million annually.

Ascend, formerly the National Abstinence Education Association, lauded the cuts as appropriate given the “controversial and explicit” nature of some sex education programs used in public schools.

“The cuts signal a concern over programs that many parents and school administrators have found to be controversial and explicit,” said Mary Anne Mosack, Ascend’s executive director. “These programs were held up as model programs for the country, but we found that in many regards they did not have the required body of research behind them to be considered model programs. It’s not surprising to me that these cuts have taken place.”

The cuts, announced this month, will not take full effect until next year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“On July 1, HHS awarded 81 continuations for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grant awards,” an HHS spokesperson told Baptist Press. “All of these grantees were given a project end date of June 30, 2018. The President’s [Fiscal Year] 2018 Budget eliminated funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, so our grants office informed the grantees of their June 30, 2018, end date, to give them an opportunity to adjust their programs and plan for an orderly closeout.”

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is an “evidence-based program that funds diverse organizations working to prevent teen pregnancy across the United States,” according to the HHS website. At least some program initiatives seek to increase the frequency with which teens use contraception during sexual activity, the website stated.

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