CALL TO ACTION!!

Special Edition: CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

Sample Advocacy Letter

PDF of Sample Advocacy Letter here.

Dear [Senator/Representative]:

I’m writing to urge you to please protect the current levels of funding and structure of the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program administered by the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. TPPP provides highly competitive grants to organizations across the country to replicate a wide variety of programs that have been rigorously evaluated and demonstrated to change teens’ behavior, or to rigorously evaluate promising programs. The TPPP is a strong example of the kind of evidence-based policymaking that is gaining bipartisan support.

Nationally, teen birth rates have declined by an impressive 64 percent since the early 1990s. Yet it is still the case that roughly one in four girls in this country will become pregnant before the age of 20, and significant disparities remain. In Oklahoma, there were 4,391 teen births in 2015. In Oklahoma, three OAH grants totaling over $3.9 million annually for five years were awarded to serve youth in communities with some of the highest teen birth rates—rates that are triple the national average.

Initiatives to reduce teen pregnancy also contribute to positive progress on other critical issues, including improving high school completion, better maternal and infant health, and strengthening our workforce.

TPPP represents a modest but highly strategic investment by the federal government to address the nation’s high rates of teen pregnancy. We respectfully request that you please protect the current levels of funding and structure of the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program administered by the HHS Office of Adolescent Health.

If you have additional questions about the grants serving Tulsa/Oklahoma or if you or your staff would like to visit when you are home in Oklahoma, please feel free to contact me at [phone/e-mail]. Thank you.

Sincerely,

[Name]

Additional Facts to Assist With Advocacy Work

  • Investing in evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs saves taxpayer dollars. Teen pregnancy costs taxpayers at least $9.4 billion annually, and the estimated savings in 2010 alone due to the 61% decline in the teen birth rate between 1991 and 2010 was $12 billion.
  • 85% of adults (including 75% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats) favor maintaining federal funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the Personal Responsibility Education Program.
  • There are 3 Oklahoma organizations that receive a total of $3.9 million each year as part of this federal funding stream. These organizations are based in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and the Choctaw Nation. Collectively we will positively impact 58,000 youth across the state, including vulnerable populations such as youth in foster care, pregnant and parenting youth, and adjudicated youth.
  • Oklahoma has seen an astounding 26% reduction in our teen birth rates since 2012, partly due to this funding.