The Trump administration’s termination of a federal program to prevent teen pregnancy was primarily driven by political appointees, against the advice of experts at the Department of Health and Human Services, NBC News reported Tuesday. Internal notes and emails obtained by NBC show that three HHS appointees who led the end of the agency’s Teen Pregnancy Program have espoused pro-abstinence, anti-abortion beliefs. And that Evelyn Kappeler, head of the Office of Adolescent Health, “repeatedly expressed concerns about terminating the program,” and was kept out of the loop while the program was terminated. Kappeler and her staff reportedly did not know that the grant that funds the program would be revoked “until the last minute.” HHS claims that the program was “ineffective” and “had a negative impact on teen behavior,” despite the teen pregnancy and birth rates hitting a low after the programs establishment in 2010.
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