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CONCORD - On Wednesday, November 2, New Hampshire’s Executive Council is expected to once again deliberate on routine contracts for a comprehensive sex education and teen parent resource program. Councilors Kenney, Gatsas, and Wheeler have tabled and refused to consider these contracts in three previous votes. These contracts have been tabled since September 21, 2022. As highlighted during the meeting, Councilors Kenney, Gatsas, and Wheeler have all approved funding for these exact programs in previous years. Because the vote on these contracts continues to be delayed, Claremont canceled its Fall classes.

At the last Executive Council meeting on October 19, Council members who opposed an effort to take the contracts off the table requested of the Department of Health and Human Services the following information: the middle school curriculum (which two councilors erroneously referred to as “elementary” curriculum and were corrected by the Commissioner); the parental consent form required for teen participation in the after school program; and evidence that the program has been effective over the past ten years.

Additionally, Commissioner Shibinette confirmed the program is for "vulnerable populations. We're talking about kids in foster care, kids that have been trafficked. Kids that have already had a baby trying to prevent a second pregnancy." 
 

BACKGROUND:

Previous Statements from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

Additional Information:

  • Op-ed from Amoskeag Health, an organization that delivers the curriculum in Manchester.
  • Item #17A provides funding for community providers in Hillsborough and Sullivan Counties to facilitate the Personal Responsibility Education Programs (PREP) to adolescents, which includes evidence-based sexual health education on abstinence and contraception. The program requires parental consent of youth participation.
    • The program is targeted toward adolescents who are at high risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (19 years or younger), or pregnant/parents (21 years or younger), including but not limited to:
      • Homeless youth
      • Foster care
      • Living with HIV/AIDS
      • Victims of human trafficking
  • The State PREP program is federally funded by the Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS).
  • Even before this pandemic, STI rates were on the rise in New Hampshire, with syphilis and gonorrhea rates increasing again in recent years -- and research shows COVID-19 has further interrupted STI screenings. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are highest in Hillsborough county. 
    • Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent 32% of all gonorrhea cases in New Hampshire; for chlamydia, they represent 63% of cases in the state.
  • New Hampshire has some of the lowest rates of unintended pregnancy rates and teen pregnancy rates in the country, in but they are higher in Sullivan county than other parts of the state.

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Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 5 health centers in Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 10,000 patients at these sites. PPNNE was named a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey, the national leader in health care consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes PPNNE as a top-performing health care organization, achieving the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience, out of more than 20,000 medical practices.

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.