The Trump Administration recently ended funding for the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
The program began in 2010 as a way to provide federal grant money for evidence-based programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Under the program, organizations–including Planned Parenthood–were able to apply for federal funds to facilitate these teen pregnancy prevention programs.
While a few of the programs promoted abstinence, evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs often focus on contraceptives, and they have generally proven to be ineffective at best.
For example, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest received $4 million in grant money to conduct a teen pregnancy prevention program. An official evaluation concluded,
After offering the program over nine months to middle and high school students during or after school, [youth who went through the program] were as likely as youth offered a four-hour alternative program, to report causing a pregnancy or becoming pregnant, having sexual intercourse, or having recent sexual intercourse without an effective method of birth control both immediately following the conclusion of the program, as well as in an assessment occurring 12 months later. . . . Immediately after the program, . . . females reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.
In other words, not only was Planned Parenthood’s multi-million-dollar program ineffective; in some cases students who went through the program actually had higher pregnancy rates than students who did not.
Official reports show similar results elsewhere around the country. Last fall, researchers evaluating the different Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs determined most showed ineffective or inconclusive results, writing,
Many of the TPP evaluations saw positive impacts on measures such as knowledge and attitudes; however, these findings did not translate into positive behavioral changes.
We need to address teen pregnancy in America, but handing out federal tax dollars to groups like Planned Parenthood simply is not the way to do it.
A new poll from Pew Research indicates Americans are likely to say churches have a positive impact on the way things are going in the country — ahead of colleges, labor unions, banks, and the national news media.
Overall, 59% of those polled said churches and religious organizations have a positive impact on the country. For comparison, 55% said colleges and universities have a positive impact on the way things are going, and 47% said labor unions have a positive impact.
Interestingly, 66% of those who attend religious services only occasionally say churches have a positive impact–meaning even those who are not particularly involved in church recognize the good that churches do.
As we have written elsewhere, just having a church building in your neighborhood repels some types of evil. It keeps certain vices away from our children and our neighbors. It makes our communities more wholesome – often without anyone noticing.
This week President Trump nominated Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here is a little about Judge Gorsuch and some noteworthy opinions he has issued:
- He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
- He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from Oxford University.
- He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy.
- Justice White is noteworthy for dissenting in the Roe v. Wade abortion decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Justice Kennedy is noteworthy for writing the Planned Parenthood v. Casey abortion decision and the 2015 Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
- This matters, because some people believe looking at who an attorney clerked for after law school is one way to gauge his or her judicial philosophy.
- President George W. Bush nominated him to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. He was confirmed on a voice vote by the U.S. Senate, because his nomination was not deemed controversial.
- As a federal judge, Neil Gorsuch has issued opinions in favor of religious liberty in lawsuits like the Hobby Lobby case.
- In 2007 he wrote a dissenting opinion in the Pleasant Grove City v. Summum case. In it he argued it was constitutional for a city to display a donated monument of the Ten Commandments on public property without displaying other monuments. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed.
- In 2009 he authored the book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, in which he analyzed the arguments in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide, but ultimately provided strong arguments against these practices.