Dr. Wen Responds to Ruling in Baltimore’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Lawsuit Against Trump Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Mona Rock: Office: (443) 984-2623, Cell: (410) 375-7763
Perry Meyers: Office: (410) 545-0823, Cell: (667) 216-0723

BALTIMORE MD (APRIL 27, 2018) - Yesterday, Judge Catherine Blake of the US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled in Baltimore City’s favor in its Teen Pregnancy Prevention suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Judge Blake granted the City’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that HHS’s decision-making was arbitrary and capricious. By issuing this ruling, Judge Blake vacated HHS’s decision to prematurely terminate Baltimore’s five-year Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant, and ordered HHS to process Baltimore’s application for continued funding under the grant.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement following the ruling:

“This ruling means that Baltimore City students will continue to receive evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention education delivered by teachers specially trained to teach these important curricula. This means the City’s newly-formed Youth-Advisory Council, comprised of Baltimore City teens who serve as peer health advocates and share information about reproductive health, will no longer be in jeopardy. This means that we will be able to continue our work in reducing teen birth rates, which fell 61% in Baltimore City from 2000 to 2016.

Yesterday marked the third ruling in cases regarding cuts made to 81 teen pregnancy prevention program grantees across the country. These cuts could affect an estimated 580,000 students. I am grateful that our 20,000 students who benefit from this program in Baltimore will not be a part of that number. I am hopeful that the value of science and evidence will continue to be recognized, and I look forward to continuing to fulfill our responsibility of protecting the health and ensuring the well-being of our youth.”

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Note From The Commissioner: My New Role

Nearly four years ago, I was given the profound honor and privilege of serving as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. Every day since then, under the leadership of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and then Mayor Catherine Pugh, I’ve served alongside the most dedicated public servants I’ve ever known, joined in a common mission to combat disparities and improve health and well-being in Baltimore. I have often said that I have my dream job. It has been a dream come true to work with all of you. Together, we have accomplished so much: we’ve saved nearly 3,000 lives from opioid overdose; reduced infant mortality to record lows; provided glasses for all children who need them; treated violence and racism as public health crises; and convened all sectors to improve community well-being.

Statement from Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen:

BALTIMORE, MD (September 12, 2018) – Nearly four years ago, I was given the profound honor and privilege of serving as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. Every day since then, I’ve served with the most dedicated public servants I’ve ever known, joined in a common mission to combat disparities and improve health and well-being in Baltimore.