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Judge Rules in Favor of City Health Department

Baltimore City Health Department

A federal judge has ruled that the US Department of Health and Human Services unlawfully cut short a grant to the city’s health department by two years.

Judge Catherine Blake ruled that the slash to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program grant was arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.

Doctor Leana Wen, director of the city’s health department, lauded the judge’s decision.

“Students in our city will continue to receive evidence-based, science-based teen pregnancy prevention education," said Wen. "It means we will be able to continue to build our capacity for teachers and holistic curriculum to empower teens to make the best choices for themselves.”

This is the third time a federal judge has ruled against Health and Human Services’ attempts to cut short grants to local jurisdictions for pregnancy prevention programs.

Doctor Patricia Paluzzi from the Healthy Teen Network, a partner in the lawsuit said higher-ups in President Donald Trump’s administration were trying to go in a different direction with teen pregnancy prevention.

“This administration was very much hoping to turn the direction of reproductive health services and education for young people in the direction of more of an abstinence focus rather than a comprehensive focus," said Paluzzi.

Under Judge Blake’s ruling, HHS will have to process the city’s application for the fourth year of a five-year grant.

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