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Council’s Continued Refusal to Consider Contracts Could Cancel After School Sex Ed Programs in Manchester and Claremont

CONCORD - On Tuesday, October 19, Executive Council members Joe Kenney, Ted Gatsas, and Dave Wheeler again refused to consider routine contracts for a comprehensive sex education and teen parent resource program. Without these federal funds, these programs in Manchester and Claremont cannot continue. 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. 

Statement from Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager for PPNNE/Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

“Opportunities such as these evidence based, optional, after school sexual education programs, which require parental consent, are critical to the health and well being of our young people and our community. These programs encourage ongoing parental engagement, support parents continuing the conversation at home, and foster trusting relationships between the facilitators and families. These programs work and are beloved by their communities. And yet, the Executive Council has continued to refuse to even vote on the funding. This is short sighted, politically motivated, and jeopardizes the ability of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable young people to get the critical information and support they need to form healthy relationships, avoid sexually transmitted infections, prevent unintended pregnancy, and parent effectively. 

For nearly a decade, these federally-funded programs have operated in Manchester and Claremont with bipartisan support, because ensuring that young people have access to medically accurate sex education is an investment in the next generation of Granite Staters.  

This Executive Council vote comes on top of four separate votes to dismantle access to birth control in New Hampshire, at a time when the landscape of reproductive health care nationwide is in chaos because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and statewide because of increased rates of sexually transmitted infections. Now is not the time to risk the ability of trusted community organizations to deliver what could be life-saving information and support.”


  • 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.


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.