Another Judicial Smackdown – Trump Cannot Cut Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants

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President Donald Trump and his sidekick Vice President Mike Pence are hell-bent on destroying women’s health care, including Planned Parenthood, and worked to do so since the day they both took office.

The Judicial branch, however, stepped up once again and said, “stop right there.”

Reuters reported today that a federal judge just blocked the Trump administration from terminating a grant program designed to prevent teenage pregnancy and advocates everywhere rejoiced.

TPPP

Last July, 81 separate institutions were notified by an office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the five-year grants they were awarded would instead end two years earlier than promised.

The program, titled the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), is a national program created during the Obama administration in 2010. The funds are used by organizations to reach populations with the most significant need.

The programs provided evidence-based sex education to teenagers including teenage sexual health, STD education, and how to navigate relationships. And they are working.

After receiving the letters, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiin Islands, and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit.

ARBITRARY INDEED

U.S. District Judge Thomas rice in Spokane, Washington, ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood on Wednesday. He said that the U.S. Department of HHS failed to explain why it terminated the program so suddenly to their satisfaction.

And the smackdown didn’t end there.

Additionally, the judge said that the administration utterly failed to follow proper administrative procedures when it “arbitrarily and capriciously” terminated the TPPP.

Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s executive vice president, said:

“The courts confirmed that the Trump-Pence administration’s attempt to impose its ideological agenda on young people is unlawful.”

HHS, so far, has declined to comment.

LAWSUITS

This lawsuit was not the only one currently pending. In February, Planned Parenthood alone filed four separate lawsuits against the Trump administration in federal court.

And, unless the Trump administration can come up with an actual reason for cutting those funds, other than Pence’s religious extremism, those suits are likely to end the same way this one did.

In the meantime, Congress will continue to appropriate around $110 million annually for the duration of the program.

Once again, the judicial branch is the voice of reason during an administration that belongs in a padded room.

Thanks to a lone judge, 1.2 million young people will continue to receive the education and the tools that they need to navigate the sexual world that they face in 2018. One shudders to think where we would be without the system of checks and balances the forefathers put in place.


Feature Image By Pacific Press Via Getty Images. 

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