Milwaukee is expected to release its most recent figures for teen pregnancy soon, at a time when some lawmakers want to cut funding for federal pregnancy prevention programs.
Milwaukee once had the second-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. The most recent numbers indicate that it’s now half what it was in 2006.
“We have unprecedented low rates of teen parenting and pregnancy and we know that’s a good thing,” said Nicole Angresano, the vice president of community impact for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.
The United Way chapter is one of a number of organizations in the area that rely on both private and public funding to operate.
One key federal grant, however, may be in jeopardy. Over a million dollars given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee comes from the federal government’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Different appropriation bills in the U.S. House and Senate would eliminate or cut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
Supporters of the Milwaukee pregnancy prevention coalition say children born to teen mothers are more likely to become teen parents themselves and are more likely to drop out of school or rely on public assistance.
Both bills also make cuts to the Title X Family Planning Program used by low-income women. Title X is currently administered in Wisconsin by Planned Parenthood, although Republicans lawmakers want the state to apply for the federal grant.