The Affordable Care Act and Adolescents. Teen Pregnancy Prevention

08/01/2013

In 2011, the teen birth rate for ages 15-19 was 31.3 live births per 1,000 population, or 329,797 births. This is the lowest rate since 1991; however, disparities in teen birth rates persist.  In 2011, the teen birth rate for Latinos was 49.4 per 1,000, 47.4 per 1,000 for Non-Latino African Americans and 36.2 per 1,000 for American Indian and Alaska Natives, compared to a rate of 21.8 per 1,000 for Non-Latino Whites and 10.2 per 1,000 for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander teens.14

The Affordable Care Act supported continuing efforts to prevent teen pregnancy through three programs cited in the Act:

  • Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). This program created by the Affordable Care Act (Section 2953) is administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at HHS. PREP projects are required to replicate effective, evidence-based program models or substantially incorporate elements of projects that have been proven to delay sexual activity, increase condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, or reduce pregnancy among youth. The programs must be medically accurate and place substantial emphasis on both abstinence and contraception for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.  Fifty-two states and territories received funding in FY 2012. Information is available at:http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/prep-fact-sheet.
  • Abstinence Education. The Affordable Care Act (Section 2954) restored funding for the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program (AEGP) administered through ACF, providing funding to States and territories for abstinence education, and where appropriate, mentoring, counseling, and adult supervision to promote abstinence from sexual activity. Projects focus on those groups at risk for a teen pregnancy. Thirty-nine states and territories received funding in FY 2012. Information is available at:http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/aegp-fact-sheet.
  • Pregnancy Assistance Fund. Administered by the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) at HHS and established under the Affordable Care Act (Section 10212), this program provides a seamless network of services to expectant and parenting teens, women, and families to allow them to: (1) Complete high school or postsecondary degrees; and (2) Gain access to health care, housing, child care, and other supports. The program also seeks to improve services for pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In July of 2013, OAH competitively awarded 17 new grants to states and tribes for a four year period. Information is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/oah-initiatives/paf/home.html.

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