Judge Overturns HHS’s Decision To Cut Grants For Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program


Three Times In One Week Federal Courts Have Ruled HHS’s Cuts To Teen Pregnancy Prevention Unlawful


Washington, D.C. —  Yesterday afternoon, the Federal District Court in Baltimore ruled that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s 2017 decision to terminate grants for the highly effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program was unlawful, handing a major victory to Healthy Teen Network, represented by Democracy Forward Foundation, and the City of Baltimore, represented by the Baltimore City Solicitor and Democracy Forward Foundation. The Court ruled that the action by HHS was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.

“This is an important victory for the rule of law and evidence-based policymaking, as well as a victory for the young people of Baltimore who need more access to education and informational resources, not less.” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh of Baltimore.

“This ruling is a victory for the youth of Baltimore City. It means that 20,000 students in our city will continue to receive evidence-based education, giving our young people the chance for improved health, educational attainment and economic opportunities,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner. “By following science and evidence, Baltimore has made significant progress in reducing teen birth rates, and we look forward to continuing to fulfill our responsibility of protecting the health and ensuring the well-being of our youth.”

“For the third time in a week, a court ruled that the Trump Administration cannot break the law to put ideology ahead of effective, evidence-based policymaking,” said Healthy Teen Network President Dr. Patricia Paluzzi.

“We are proud to have succeeded in blocking this unlawful action by the Department of Health and Human Services and we will remain vigilant to ensure that HHS follows the law,” said Anne Harkavy, Executive Director of Democracy Forward Foundation.

As has been reported, in terminating the grants, newly appointed political aides overruled career officials, boxing them out of the process and telling them to “get in line.”

This is the third case in less than one week in which plaintiffs have obtained favorable court rulings to compel HHS to process year-four Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program applications. The other prevailing grantees include Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI), Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI), and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPHeartland), represented by lawyers from the law firm Arnold & Porter, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Center for Justice, along with four grantees represented by Public Citizen. Democracy Forward is also representing King County in a separate case pending in the Federal District Court in Seattle.


Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.


Press Contacts:

Charisma Troiano

(202) 701-1781



Perry Meyers
Baltimore City Health Department


Mona M. Rock
Baltimore City Health Department


James E. Bentley II
Office of the Mayor, City of Baltimore