Agency officials are eliminating sex-education grants created by former President Barack Obama because the grants did not lower teen birth rates, says a senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Trump administration is asking Congress to end funding for the TPP grants in the 2018 budget, while it renews funding for Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education, also known as abstinence-based education. Huber is the former co-founder, president, and CEO of Ascend, which promotes abstinence-based sex education.
In contrast, Obama did not request any funding for abstinence-based education in his 2017 budget. In fact, Obama’s final versions of TPP grants require training students to believe the new gender ideology which claims that a person’s biological sex is subordinate to the person’s self-declared “gender.” That ideology attempts to undermine the science-based civic understanding that there are only two equal and complementary biological sexes – male and female.
“The determination to ask for the elimination of this [TPP] program in the president’s budget came about for two reasons,” Huber says, explaining:
Number one, because they said actually in the budget that there is no proof to suggest that the TPP program was responsible for the drop in teen birth rates. And, that is despite the insistence of advocates that the teen pregnancy and teen birth rates had dropped precipitously in the last eight years, and certainly it must be because of the new TPP program, which also stood up in those very same eight years.
The second reason that we took this step, however, is because the research for this program is more than disappointing. It shows that this program has been ineffective. And, in fact, more than 70 percent of the program showed no impact or negative impact – which means that the communities that implemented these programs were promised that, if you implement these evidence-based programs, you can expect to achieve similar positive results in your community. And, so, in good faith a lot of these communities did just that – implemented them. And then – five years later – the research comes out and it shows – despite the promises, despite the narrative surrounding this program – it didn’t deliver.
Just prior to her appointment to her current post, Huber’s group Ascend noted that Trump’s proposed budget calls for “a dramatic change in federal sex education policy.”
Research has shown, the organization said, that more than 80% of students in the Obama-era TPP either fared worse or no better than their peers.
Additionally, Ascend observed, the numerous studies supporting Comprehensive Sex Education have produced results that “are not as compelling as they first appear.”
The group cites weaknesses in the research, as well as flawed metrics and ignorance of common research protocols.
“Currently, only 10 cents of every federal sex education dollar is devoted to SRA education,” Huber – still as Ascend’s president – said upon release of Trump’s budget. “With the elimination of the TPP program and maintenance of the Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program, about 20 cents of every dollar will be devoted to SRA education.”
“The majority of teens have not had sex, far fewer than 25 years ago,” she added at the time.
In her new post, Huber acknowledges the nation has seen unprecedented decreases in teen birth rates, but states “those rates began their steep decline before the TPP program began.”
In addition to that, even if it began at the very same time and even if the TPP programs were shown to be 100 percent effective – which, of course, we know is not the case – but let’s assume for a moment they were. They still could not claim credit for this and it’s because the program serves so few students – between .15 percent and – being very, very generous – we’ll say 1 percent of youth are served in this program. You can neither take the blame or the credit for any population-wide change like that, particularly when you’re serving such a small percentage of that targeted population.
Huber notes that, despite her expertise in the area of sex education, the decision to end the grants for TPP was not made by just one person at HHS.
“We here at HHS looked at the evidence and saw that this program [TPP] was not delivering as promised,” she explained. “And, rather than continuing these grants to their completion – which would be a full five years – we notified the grantees that their July 1 grants would go forward, but for only one year, rather than for three more years. And that permits them, then, to prepare for and actually bring about a shutdown of that grant.”
Huber explains the history of TPP:
TPP was begun in 2010. President Obama’s first budget that he sent to Congress asked that the community-based abstinence education program – which was funded at over $100 million – be defunded and that those funds be diverted to this new program that he wanted to begin – the TPP. And Congress consented and, as a result, the Obama administration cut off – midstream – just under 175 programs from the community-based abstinence education program.
Our critics insist that our cutting the TPP grants short by two years was unprecedented, and that it had never occurred before, when, in fact, the TPP was begun by eliminating another program.
With Obama as a longstanding supporter of Planned Parenthood, and former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius an abortion advocate, it comes as no surprise that America’s largest provider of abortions and champion of artificial contraception received a significant number of grants to implement TPP.
In 2014, for example, Planned Parenthood announced that 15 of its affiliates across the country were awarded grants of some $19 million and were “recognized as leaders in teen pregnancy prevention” when they were selected by HHS “to receive new grant funding as part of President Obama’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.”
“As the oldest, largest and most trusted provider of sex education and pregnancy prevention in the country, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the Office of Adolescent Health, states, health departments and community based organizations to make sure young people get high-quality programs that work,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.