Texas and National Teen Birth Rates Drop To Historic Lows

Apr 12, 2012

A new National Center for Health Statistics report about U.S. teen birth rates and those of Texas teens offers new evidence that Texas’ abstinence-based sex education policy works and does not require an overhaul.

The report shows that the national teen birth rate is at its lowest rate since 1946.  Similarly, in 2010, Texas teen births rates dropped to continue in a 20-year downward trend.  Under an abstinence-focused approach in Texas, the Texas teen birth rate (per 1000 aged 15-19) has decreased a significant 33.4 percent from a high in 1991 (78.4) to a low in 2010 (52.2). The teen birth rate in Texas has also declined 15 percent between 2007 (61.7) and 2010 (52.2).

“It’s encouraging that the abstinence-focused sex education policy in Texas continues to improve in the areas of teen pregnancy and teen births,” said Jonathan Saenz, Director of Legislative Affairs for Liberty Institute.  “Pressure by pro-abortion groups and others to ban abstinence teaching in public schools, and instead to focus on drug-based sex education, would be a disaster and jeopardize the positive trend over the past 20 years.”

Since the mid 1990s, Texas law has required that abstinence education be taught in its public schools, more than any other sex education method for preventing pregnancy and STDs—if sex education is taught at all.  However, during recent legislative sessions, pro-abortion groups have pressured the Texas legislature to essentially ban abstinence education in public schools and to primarily focus on drug-based sex education. Fortunately, these efforts have been flatly rejected.

“In short, I’m glad Texas continues to stay with what works.  Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which pushes drug-based sex education, has no business teaching our children about sex education,” Saenz added.

Image: aopsan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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