Currently, in the United States, one in four women will get pregnant by the age of 20. And although teen birth rates have declined over the last two decades, they remain high among poor and minority women.
The decision from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will now end a handful of Obama-era grants supporting research into scientifically sound ways to prevent teen pregnancy.
Pro-life members of the Trump administration, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, have vocally opposed federal funding for birth control. Many have also supported abstinence over contraception.
In response to the news, Jennifer Hettema, an associate research professor at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center told Reveal, “We are just reeling. We’re not sure how we’ll adapt.”
She added: “It’s kind of like building half a skyscraper and then saying, ‘Never mind.’ And there are thousands of health care providers in this country who are winging it in terms of how to talk to teens about unintended pregnancies.”