Seeking a more “scientific and data-driven” approach to teen pregnancy, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has brought in private research firms Mathematica Policy Research and RTI International .
The two research firms will be part of a $10 million effort to analyze to problem of teen pregnancy and assess alternative solutions.
The Hill reports:
“The project will focus on the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), a national program created in 2010 under former President Barack Obama that mostly funded projects that taught teens about safe sex.
“Officials within the Trump administration have pushed for an approach like “sexual risk avoidance,” which encourages teen abstinence, rather than programs supported by the Obama administration that taught teens about safe sex.
“According to HHS, the project seeks “scientific and data-driven answers” to questions such as: “What economic impact does sexual delay have on the individual and on society as a whole?” and “Is it possible for youth who are currently engaged in risky behaviors to make healthier choices in the future?”
The Trump administration’s preference for sexual abstinence as the solution to teen pregnancy was put on display earlier in 2017 as recipients of TPPP grants were informed that their funding would end in 2019, one year ahead of schedule.
An HHS spokesperson blamed the cuts on the TPPP’s “ineffectiveness” in reducing teen pregnancies. Out of the 44 teen pregnancy prevention programs approved under the Obama administration, only three promoted sexual abstinence.