11.29.17

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on HHS to Address Changes To Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and 24 Senate Democrats today wrote to Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric D. Hargan to demand a thorough explanation of concerning changes to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), which appear ideologically-driven and designed to undermine efforts to provide quality, evidence-based services to communities nationwide.

“[Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program] has been recognized by bipartisan evidence experts as an outstanding example of how to build evidence and administer a high quality evidence-based program,” wrote the Senators. “…The Department seems intent to replace a high quality evidence-based program that meets the needs of diverse communities and populations around the country with a single ideological approach that fails to meet the needs of young people. We are concerned that this new announcement represents a further effort to dismantle or redistribute program resources toward an approach that does not meet the same quality of evidence review as TPPP requires.”

Senate Democrats first asked HHS to explain changes to the TPPP program in a July 2017 letter and received an incomplete response from the department.

In addition to Senators Baldwin, Murray, and Cantwell, the letter was signed by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ),  Edward Markey (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Margaret Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Robert Casey (D-PA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Full text of the letter is available here.