While Donald Trump is sucking everyone’s attention on Twitter, his administration is causing actual harm through policy moves that aren’t being discussed at all. One that I missed until now is that Trump will completely defund the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, which provided grants to groups working to lower teen pregnancy rates in America.
While the rate had been going down steadily since 1990, it took a welcome nosedive since President Obama took office. (Easier access to contraception and birth control helped, too.)
But now that funding will be gone.
The Trump administration is completely defunding the nationwide Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, cutting $213 million in assistance that supports roughly 1.2 million teenagers across the country. Groups that rely of the funding got notice this month that as of June 30, 2018 their funding will be shut off. This means they all lose two years of already-allocated money.
Why is it being defunded? Because Obama created it, because some of the grantees distributed contraception, and because it worked. It’s part of Trump’s mission to undo everything Obama did, no matter how much it was helping people.
It’s also no surprise that one of the top officials in the Department of Health and Human Services (which oversees this program) is Valerie Huber, a longtime foe of comprehensive sex education who thinks preaching abstinence is the best way to prevent pregnancy.
The staff at BillMoyers.com is clear about who will be affected by this funding cut:
… Donald Trump’s budget cuts are primarily aimed at poor teenagers, an already vulnerable section of the population. These cuts will not only reduce services provided by clinics and prevention programs, but also dramatically affect the research activities of groups dedicated to optimizing and improving health care for teenagers.
The consequences of this can’t be stressed enough.
White evangelical Christians, who will put up with anything Trump does as long as he keeps appointing anti-abortion judges to the bench, have long been on a crusade to stop abortion. They don’t want women to have them. They don’t want women to have access to them.
If what’s happening in Texas is an indication of what we’ll see with Trump’s cuts, the lack of these resources will lead to an increase in teen pregnancy rates… which will inevitably lead to more abortions.
Or, to use their language, evangelicals’ continued support of Trump will lead to more murdered babies.
This should be common sense. Want to stop women from having abortions? Then prevent pregnancies from occurring in the first place. That’s what Obama did. That’s what this program did. That’s what evangelicals should want.
But they’ve never let logic and reason get in the way of faith-based idiocy. Why follow the evidence when shouting abstinence grows your moral superiority complex?
The hypocrisy would be stunning if we weren’t so damned used to Christians saying one thing and doing another.