AP Photo/Alex Brandon
On behalf of King County, which encompasses Seattle, Washington and surrounding areas, and Healthy Teen Network, a national non-profit organization located in Baltimore, Maryland, Democracy Forward sued the Trump-Pence Administration for unlawfully terminating the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (“TPP”) Program. The suits, filed in federal court in the Western District of Washington and the District of Maryland, are part of an effort to respond to the Administration’s arbitrary attack on these evidence-based programs. The TPP Program has bipartisan Congressional support and has been lauded by public health groups and HHS itself as a model of implementing effective, science-based federal policy.
Despite the TPP Program’s success in helping to reduce teen pregnancy rates, the Trump Administration unlawfully terminated the program after only three years of the five-year grant term. The suits filed today argue that the termination of the TPP Program without cause is contrary to HHS’s own regulations, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The TPP Program is a gold-star example of evidence-based policymaking in action, and the grantees were given no explanation for the termination. After facing widespread criticism for terminating the program from Members of Congress, the medical community, and numerous advocacy groups, the Administration has belatedly given inconsistent and inaccurate public statements attempting to justify its decision.
In addition to the suits filed by Democracy Forward in Washington and Maryland, Public Citizen Litigation Group and Planned Parenthood have filed suit in Washington State and the District of Columbia, respectively, on behalf of other grantees who have been harmed by the Administration’s unlawful actions. All of the suits ask that the funding for the TPP Program be reinstated to serve the 1.2 million young people that would benefit from the program.
These suits follow another challenge filed by Democracy Forward in November seeking to compel HHS to produce documents concerning the termination of the TPP Program grants.