Healthy Futures of Texas, as the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit, has made it possible to continue 62 evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention projects across the nation. This will allow Healthy Futures of Texas to continue its Big Decisions curriculum evaluation project in San Antonio and three rural Texas-Mexico border communities.
The ruling came last Friday from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and it held that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) termination of dozens of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) grants was unlawful. The court ruled in favor of Healthy Futures of Texas, the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit.
In 2010, several grantees, including Healthy Futures of Texas, received funding from HHS’s TPPP. The funding was initially awarded for a five year term. However, last summer, all grantees named in the lawsuit were informed by HHS that their funding would end two years early—on June 30, 2018. Healthy Futures of Texas, represented by Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, filed a class action lawsuit as the lead plaintiff. On Friday, the court ordered HHS to reinstate the grants of all 62 class members.
“With this decision, youth who are participating in the Big Decisions curriculum study, and all the youth served by the other projects, now have the chance for better health, educational attainment, and economic opportunities that can improve their lives,” said Evelyn Delgado, president and CEO of Healthy Futures of Texas. “This decision enables us to continue reducing teen birth rates in Texas and across the country.”
Teen pregnancy and childbearing continues to be a widespread issue that impacts adolescents, families and communities in San Antonio and Texas. Texas maintains the fourth highest rate of teen birth in the nation—and the highest rate of repeat teen births. While Texas and the rest of the nation have made tremendous progress in reducing the rate of teen births, much is still left to do in order to ensure that adolescents have access to the education and services they need.
Healthy Futures of Texas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to support the development of strong families and positively impact the future of San Antonio and Texas communities by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Healthy Futures provides and promotes effective and culturally appropriate educational programs and also promotes access to preventive healthcare for teens, parents, and young adults.
Big Decisions is a 10-lesson program with an “abstinence-plus” approach for teens ages 13-17. The program is interactive, inclusive, and involves parents through “homework” and workshops. Used by many school districts in Texas, Big Decisions is popular, and the program’s evaluation is being funded by this HHS grant funding.
For more information, visit http://www.hf-tx.org/.