Baltimore City Suing HHS for Cut to Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program | WYPR

Baltimore City Suing HHS for Cut to Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

41 minutes ago

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Doctor Leana Wen
Credit Baltimore City Health Department

Baltimore City filed suit Tuesday against the federal Department of Health and Human Services for slashing the funding from the city’s teen pregnancy prevention program.

The lawsuit is part of a nation-wide movement led by the non-profit, Democracy Now’s Healthy Teens Network. The city would lose approximately $3.5 million over two years because of the cut. Dr. Leana Wen, the city health commissioner, calls the cut “shocking and unprecedented”

“I’ve never seen a case of grant funding that was approved with a grant period of, in this case, five years without any evidence based reason that was provided," said Wen.

Wen says Congress approved the funding for a five year grant for $8.6 Million, during the Obama administration. HHS told the city last July that funding would end in June of this year. Wen says the cut will affect 20,000 students that will no longer have reproductive education classes in schools.

“That includes physiology, behavioral health, STD prevention, and other types of courses on empowering girls and teens to make choices," said Wen.

Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis says the city is suing to be compensated for the money cut from the grant. HHS did not respond to requests for comment.