Trump Administration Can't Cut Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Funding, Court Rules

"The Court determines that the public interest weighs in favor of (Planned Parenthood)."

For the second time, a federal judge ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood and the services they provide for teen pregnancy prevention.

This time it was U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice of Spokane, Washington, who put the brakes on the Trump Administration from cutting grants to Planned Parenthood that pay for a teen pregnancy prevention program in numerous states.

"The Court finds that HHS arbitrarily and capriciously terminated the [teen pregnancy prevention) Program," Rice wrote in his ruling late Tuesday. "The Court determines that the public interest weighs in favor of (Planned Parenthood), as it would prevent harm to the community and prevent loss of data regarding the effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention."


The lawsuit was first filed in February by Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, and was later joined by affiliates in Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Nebraska. As a collective, the Planned Parenthood affiliates asked Judge Rice to reverse a decision by HHS Secretary Alex Azar to inform recipients of 81 teen pregnancy prevention grants that their grant agreements would be terminated two years early, when funding was supposed to continue until 2020.

The impacted program has served about 1.2 million teens in 39 states and the Marshall Islands, including about 40,000 youths in Washington and Idaho, to date, the lawsuit said. Not to mention the program's proven success with a teen birth rate drop of 41 percent in the United States since its inception in 2010.

As reported by NBC, Planned Parenthood attorney Nathan Castellano said in court, "Pulling the plug on these programs is extreme. It causes irreparable harm. Teens won't get the benefit of the program, and the general public won't get the benefit of the research."

Cover image via Jonathan Weiss /

(H/T: NBC News)


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