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Funding cuts may reverse teen pregnancy drop in NYC, officials say

NEW YORK  — Teen pregnancy rates in New York, which have been dropping since 2000, could rise as the federal government moves to slash funding for teen pregnancy prevention, health officials said Thursday.

Teenage pregnancy has dropped 60 percent and New York City Health Department officials attribute that decline, in part, to federally funded sex education programs and clinic services. The education programs are vital for keeping teen pregnancy rates down, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said.

“This dramatic reduction in teen pregnancy rates is a clear indication that sexual health education programs for teenagers must be preserved and expanded,” Bassett said. “We cannot risk turning back, and we must do all we can to continue the progress we’ve made in promoting and protecting the reproductive health of New Yorkers.”

The Trump administration cut more than $200 million from the federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program last summer. That money would have gone toward sex education programs and clinics.

“The planned federal funding cut to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program is a tragic and unjust move that would jeopardize the historic progress achieved by this city and others around the country,” Bassett said.