Press release


February 11, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) — Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy, will bestow the 2018 Sarah S. Brown Award to Andrea Kane and the 2019 Sarah S. Brown Award to Democracy Forward, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Public Citizen Litigation Group. Andrea Kane has dedicated her career to leading efforts to support women, children and families. The 2019 honorees successfully protected the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, preventing the Trump administration from circumventing Congress and abolishing the TPP program.

The award is named after Sarah S. Brown, the founding CEO of Power to Decide, and was established to recognize innovative leaders who have been strong, smart and bold in making significant contributions to the mission of Power to Decide.

“We are proud to honor these three organizations that worked tirelessly to protect and defend the TPP Program with the 2019 Sarah S. Brown Award,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “These legal groups have demonstrated tremendous courage and unwavering commitment in fighting against actions that would have adversely impacted the most vulnerable among us. By not backing down, they stood squarely on the side of science and successfully defeated an effort that would have reversed the progress we have made in reducing unplanned pregnancies.”

“Democracy Forward is proud to stand with all of the communities, advocates and legal teams committed to defending the TPP program,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy. “We are honored to receive this recognition and we will keep fighting to protect these critical programs against unlawful attacks.”  

“Planned Parenthood is proud to celebrate the incredible work of our Public Policy Litigation & Law team as an honoree of Power to Decide’s 2019 Sarah S. Brown Award for their work to protect the TPP program,” said Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Because of the best in class work from our litigation team and allies, including the partnership with our friends at Arnold & Porter, millions of young people across the country will not be left with a critical gap in health education. As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood looks forward to continuing to provide, protect and expand evidence-based, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education.”

“Public Citizen appreciates this recognition of our work to restore TPP program funding to 66 grantees, after the administration—for ideological reasons unsupported by facts or the law—tried to terminate these important programs,” said Allison Zieve, Director, Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Since peaking in 1991, the teen birth rate has declined 70 percent, as a result, in part, of bipartisan policies and programs, such as the TPP program. The program provides high-quality, evidenced-based sexual health information to young people most in need. Yet, despite its proven success, the administration tried to abolish the TPP program by cutting short all of its existing grants. In response, the awardee organizations joined efforts and filed suits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to challenge the administration’s actions. Specifically, 11 lawsuits were filed by these groups against the shortening of grants, including one class action suit. The plaintiffs won all 11 lawsuits and the government has since dropped its appeals in all the cases.

Andrea Kane currently serves as the Vice President for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Power to Decide. The award recognizes Kane’s distinguished career and her on-going work on behalf of women, young people and families. Kane has successfully identified systems gaps among vulnerable populations, such as youth in foster care and community college students and helped to initiate innovative policy and programmatic efforts, which specifically met the needs of these populations. In addition, Kane played a key role in maintaining support for the TPP program.

“Andrea is a fearless and bold advocate who has made a difference in the lives of millions of youth and families throughout her distinguished career. It gives me great pleasure to recognize our esteemed colleague and friend Andrea Kane with the 2018 Sarah S. Brown Award. During her distinguished and ongoing career, Andrea has been a leading force in bringing forth smart and innovative policies that help to ensure all young people have the power to decide, if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” Ehrlich said.

From 2001 through 2008, Kane was a visiting fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families. Before joining Power to Decide in 2001, Kane served at the White House Domestic Policy Council as a special assistant to President Clinton and worked at the National Governors’ Association and at the state and local level in California, Texas and Virginia.

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live, or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.