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Virginia Politics
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/25/2012

Alexandria finds money for pregnancy prevention program that state lawmakers cut

The General Assembly left town last week without restoring funds for a pregnancy prevention program for teens. But Alexandria managed to scrape together enough money to replenish its coffers.

The City Council approved spending $65,000 on the initiative that offers sex education and birth control to teenagers.


Rob Krupicka (Katherine Frey - THE WASHINGTON POST)

“We’re seeing such great results,’’ said Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, who plans to run for the House next year. “The idea we would take a step back wasn’t acceptable.’’

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative funds programs at schools and clinics in seven health districts, including Alexandria, which have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the state.

McDonnell (R) proposed eliminate funding — $455,000 — in the next two-year $85 billion budget, which starts July 1. The General Assembly agreed, despite opposition by some Democrats.

McDonnell’s administration said the funding should be discontinued because the initiative has not worked — and that the localities continue to experience pregnancy rates above the state average.

Although Virginia’s teen pregnancy rate is below the national average, 28 cities and counties are above it. In 2010, 10,970 teen pregnancies were reported in Virginia.

The program worked with 4,642 teens in fiscal 2010, including those at the Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, which serves youths 12 to 19.

McDonnell’s office said late last year that the state Department of Health had been awarded several federal grants that promote maternal and child health, including $3.7 million to pay for home visits in certain communities and $4.5 million to support pregnant and parenting student services at participating colleges and universities.

In fiscal 2010, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative money was reduced by $155,000, according to the state. The next year, funding fell an additional $237,000.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/25/2012

 
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