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Sex Education

and birth control programs are facing cuts in favor of public programs that promote abstinence and the “rhythm method”

Learn more about the state of sex education in America and how to advocate for better sex education in your community

Why It Matters

  • The administration tried to cut funding for evidence-based, comprehensive sex education programs — which are proven to increase safer sex and help young people prevent unintended pregnancy — and refocus the funding to abstinence-only programs that are proven to be ineffective.

  • That includes trying to cut funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), an evidence-based initiative proven to increase safer sex

Key Players

Donald Trump

President of the United States

Elected to Office: 11-8-2016
Mike Pence

Vice President of the United States

Elected to Office: 11-8-2016
Alex Azar

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Nominated by Trump: 11-13-2017
Katy Talento

Former Special Assistant to the President, White House Domestic Policy Council

Resigned: 6-1-2019
Valerie Huber

Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Global Affairs; Former Senior Policy Advisor for the Assistant Secretary for Health (HHS)

Appointed: 6-6-2017


  • What to expect next

    If the administration’s efforts succeed, fewer young people will get sex education

  • 4-4-19

    HHS plans Title X, TPPP consolidation under abstinence-only activist Diane Foley

  • 4-20-2018

    Administration announces shift in funding toward abstinence-only approaches

  • 7-7-2017

    Funding slashed for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

By eliminating funding for [the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program], we will set progress and families back decades, especially for families in rural communities like mine.”

Who Gets Hurt By Cuts to Sex Education

Without cuts, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program would serve 1.2 million young people by 2020. But the Trump-Pence administration is trying to cut sex education funding, and promoting abstinence-only programs that don’t work.

Slashing funds disproportionately harms sexual violence survivors, LGBTQ teens, youth of color, rural communities and others who face barriers to care. All young people deserve sex education.

Background on Sex Education

Putting Abstinence Advocate in Charge of Sex Education

Secretary of Health Alex Azar says he plans to consolidate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and Title X (the federal program for affordable birth control) under anti-birth control, anti-abortion, pro-abstinence advocate Diane Foley.

Rewire News
Tossing Science Requirement for Sex Education

The administration wants to remove the requirement that sex education is based on scientific evidence.

85% of Adults Support TPPP

The vast majority (85%) of Americans support keeping funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

Power to Decide
Parents Want Sex Education in Schools

Across party lines, over 93% of parents say comprehensive sex education in schools is extremely important.

Public Library of Science (PLOS) One
What the Goals of Sex Education for Teenagers Should Be

Hundreds of studies have shown that school sex education programs can help young people change specific behaviors related to safe sex. Such behaviors include waiting to have sex, and using condoms and contraception when they do have sex. Any school’s sex education curriculum should involve people with different backgrounds in theory, research, sex and STD/HIV education, and should assess the specific needs of the students.

Threatening to Turn Back the Clock on TPPP

Teenage pregnancy is currently at an all-time low, in part thanks to the educational resources provided by programs like the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program — a program that the administration’s policies put at risk.

Abstinence Doesn’t Actually Work

Medical evidence shows that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs — which the administration has attempted to rebrand as "sexual risk avoidance" — don’t work, and can actually be harmful.

Abstinence Programs Are Often Anti-LGBTQ

Young people need accurate information to make healthy decisions about their bodies and their futures — without fear or shame. But abstinence-only programs often blame survivors for their own sexual assaults and ignore the needs of LGBTQ teens.

Refinery 29
More Abstinence Advocates in the Ranks

Cutting funds to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program coincided with the administration’s appointment of abstinence-only-until-marriage activist Valerie Huber to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Planned Parenthood Action Blog

Related Issues

The Title X Gag Rule

The Health Agenda

Planned Parenthood

Birth Control Coverage

LGBTQ Rights

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