Donald Trump’s White House doesn’t believe in science or evidence, or that young people should make informed decisions about their bodies.
But we do.
That’s why we’re suing the Trump-Pence administration for illegally cutting the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) — a super important, evidence-based, science-based program that is on track to serve more than 1.2 million young people by 2020.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration wants to expand the role of abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs and take steps to dismantle evidence-based, science-based sexual health programs. This is dangerous and ineffective.
So we’re suing. Alongside our allies, including Democracy Forward, King County Health Department in Seattle, the Healthy Teen Network in Baltimore, and Public Citizen, we filed four lawsuits against the Trump-Pence administration. We want to ensure young people’s continued access to evidence-based sexual health programs that help them control their bodies and their futures.
We’re not going to let Trump get away with this — not without a fight.
What is TPPP?
Between 2010 and 2016, programs like TPPP have helped achieve a dramatic decline — 41 percent — in rates of pregnancy among teens. TPPP is on track to provide over a million young people with the resources to make informed decisions about their bodies and lives. It’s been applauded by experts and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Take, for example, YouthCare, a Seattle-based program funded by TPPP. Thanks to its partnership with Planned Parenthood, YouthCare delivers realistic, safety-focused learning opportunities for young people in Seattle — many of whom are homeless and may have received little to no sex education.
Or look at LiFT (Linking Families and Teens), another TPPP program for high schoolers and their parents in rural communities. Offered in both English and Spanish, LiFT empowers families like Emily and her mom Julie Liles from Shelton, Wash. Emily and Julie attended a LiFT program that they both say transformed their ability to communicate with one another. It helped them approach difficult conversations with trust and honesty.
Each TPPP program must show an impact in one of the following areas:
Reducing number of sexual partners
Increasing contraceptive use
Reducing rates of STIs, including HIV, or
Reducing rates of pregnancy
AOUM programs, on the other hand, “while theoretically completely effective in preventing pregnancy, in actual practice the efficacy of AOUM interventions may approach zero.”
You read that right: Zero efficacy (that means it doesn’t work).
And AOUM programs often stigmatize same-sex relationships as “deviant and unnatural behavior.” They’re also coercive, sometimes withholding information young people need to make informed choices — and promoting questionable, inaccurate, and stigmatizing opinions instead.
Opinions. Not science.
The Trump-Pence attack
The Trump-Pence administration — including birth control skeptics like Valerie Huber in the Department of Health and Human Services — is determined to roll back all this progress for young people.
The administration abruptly ended TPPP — despite the fact that this is in violation of federal law (federal law that they are supposed to follow and uphold). Programs like YouthCare and LiFT were given no explanation for this decision. Education for hundreds of thousands of young people was instantly jeopardized.
Lawmakers, doctors, and advocates alike fought back against this attack on youth health. It wasn’t until months later that the White House gave inconsistent and inaccurate public statements attempting to justify its decision.
So, yeah. We’re suing.
Ending TPPP is just one of many steps that the Trump-Pence administration has taken over the last year to undermine our health.
From issuing a rule to allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees, to taking away protections for sexual assault survivors, to standing in the way of young, immigrant women needing abortions, the White House is taking every opportunity to chip away at our rights. But we’re going to stand up to them every way we can.
We’re standing up for science. We’re advocating for our patients and for people all across the country. And we’re not backing down.
Will you stand with us?
Here's how you can help fight back.