Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and eight other organizations and local governments filed separate lawsuits today against the Trump administration for defunding a teen pregnancy program.
The lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, along with two affiliates — Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Island and Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington — was filed in Spokane, Wash.
Other lawsuits were filed in Maryland and in Washington, D.C., by other organizations and local governments.
The nationwide Teen Pregnancy Program funded health-related “resources that provide sex education, youth development and abstinence education,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement Thursday.
The program is based on evidence “and it builds on what we know works to help young people stay safe and make healthy, informed decisions about their bodies and futures,” said Suzanna de Baca, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in the statement.
In July, Reveal for the Center for Investigative Reporting broke the news the Trump administration had cut off $213.6 million in teen pregnancy prevention programs and research at more than 80 institutions around the country. The move ended five-year grants from the Obama administration.
Since the teen pregnancy program was launched eight years ago, the Planned Parenthood statement said, it has helped more than 1 million young people nationwide and the rate of teen births has declined by 41 percent.
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Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Des Moines, was awarded one of the five-year grants in 2015 to provide programs in five Western Iowa and Nebraska counties where it said teen pregnancy rates are higher than the national and state average, the organization said in the statement.
Democracy Forward, which tracks policies of the federal government’s executive branch, and Public Citizen, a consumer-rights think-tank, were among the other organizations filing lawsuits over the defunding.