Class Action Lawsuit Rules in Favor of Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program Grantees

June 28, 2018


In July 2017, Sara Gardner, executive director of the Fund for Public Health in New York City (FPHNYC), shared the alarming news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under the leadership of the Trump administration, announced early termination of grants through the bipartisan and evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program. TPP was established in 2010 as a national program to fund youth-focused evidenced-based programs aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. In April 2018, HHS had announced changes to the TPP Program, which would shift future funding to organizations that emphasized abstinence or “sexual risk avoidance.”

In February 2018, FPHNYC joined in a class-action lawsuit that argued that HHS illegally ended grants to organizations participating in the original program. This month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of TPP Program grant recipients. The Court held that last year’s termination of TPP Program grants was unlawful, and ordered HHS to reinstate the grants. This was the fifth time in recent months that a federal judge ruled the cuts to be unlawful, meaning that virtually all of the current 84 grant recipients will have their funding restored.

FPHNYC has collaborated with the NYC Department of Health to implement programs such as Bronx Teens Connection and the current TPP-funded initiative called NYC Teens Connection, which expands important work piloted in the Bronx to Brooklyn and Staten Island. Bronx Teens Connection, which began in 2010, supports partnerships between 40 schools, clinics and youth-service organizations. These partners work together to connect young, at-risk students to school-based health centers and community clinics with a goal of reaching 15,000 youth annually.

The restored funding will allow NYC to continue to provide NYC youth with a chance for better health, educational attainment and economic opportunities. It will also ensure the continued success of the TPP program, which has contributed to a 53 percent decline in the city’s teen pregnancy rates since 2000. Learn more about the impact of Bronx Teens Connection here.