US Government Asks Court To Dismiss Planned Parenthood Lawsuits Over Teen ‘Abstinence Until Marriage’ Program

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

The U.S. government asked federal judges to dismiss lawsuits from Planned Parenthood over the proposed abstinence-until-marriage focus for the government’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP).

Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) argued Planned Parenthood had no basis for its two lawsuits since it did not apply for grants from TPPP. The abortion provider, however, is seeking an injunction against the HHS’s new criteria for applying for grants from the program, arguing that an abstinence-only approach to teen pregnancy is ineffective. (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Engaged In Massive Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Investigative Report Finds [VIDEO])

HHS lawyers countered that the new criteria for awarding grants under the program, which they changed in May, was “reasonable” and consistent with HHS’s past practices and congressional intent. Under the new criteria, recipients for grants must either follow a “sexual risk reduction model” or a “sexual risk avoidance model,” which aim to curb or completely stop sexual activity among teens respectively.

Planned Parenthood asserted that HHS’s new approach “stigmatizes” teens who have sex and that it prevents them from informed decision-making concerning intercourse, according to Reuters. HHS argued, however, it does not favor “sexual risk avoidance models” over “sexual risk reduction models,” and that halting grants to organizations that do follow a sexual risk avoidance model would not serve the public good, since such organizations can put those grants to “good use.”

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuits cover its affiliates in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, New York City and Washington.

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