Sex Ed Measure Dies in Texas House

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The Texas House failed today to pass a measure that would require information in public school sex education classes be medically accurate. Texas Freedom Network sent out the following press release:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller decried today’s failure by the Texas House to require that public schools teach only medically accurate information in sex education classes.

An amendment requiring that information in sex ed classes be medically accurate was blocked by a point of order claiming that the measure was not germane to Senate Bill 283. Yet SB 283 sets meeting and reporting requirements for School Health Advisory Councils, which advise local school boards and administrators on health education instruction, including sex education. Moreover, the House had just unanimously passed an amendment to the same bill requiring that districts notify parents about the content of sex education instruction in their schools.

“It’s absurd for lawmakers to hide behind parliamentary tactics so they can avoid requiring that students get medically accurate information in their sex education classes,” Miller said. “No wonder a teenager gets pregnant every 10 minutes in Texas. Grownups in the Texas House are scared to even talk about how to prevent it.”

Texas ranks third in the nation in teen births and first in multiple births to teens. The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that a teen in Texas gets pregnant every 10 minutes.

The point of order came after an intense three-day campaign by opponents of the “medically accurate” amendment who instead support abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Abstinence-only supporters falsely claimed that the amendment would “outlaw abstinence-only ed,” “censor information” about contraceptive failure rates, and “promote recreational and gay sex.”

“What could possibly be wrong with giving our kids medically accurate information from the Centers for Disease Control or the American Academy of Pediatrics instead of discredited ideological diatribes about birth control and disease prevention?” Miller said. “That’s what this amendment would have done. But today we found out that at least in Texas, the same old ‘culture war’ lies and distortions are still enough to stop even discussion about common-sense approaches to ending the epidemic of teen pregnancy and STDs. Today ignorance won out over truth, and Texas teens will pay the price.”

In February the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released a report from two Texas State University health education professors that showed more than 9 in 10 Texas school districts teach virtually nothing about pregnancy and disease prevention except abstinence until marriage. The study also found factual errors in abstinence/sex education materials from more than 40 percent of districts.

4 Responses to “Sex Ed Measure Dies in Texas House”

  1. Edd Doerr Says:

    Before seeing your comment I had sent the following letter to the New York Times — “The Irish government’s new report on child abuse in faith-based institutions, plus reports and books on the subject from the US, Spain and Mexico and the experience of states like Texas, should make it quite clear that ‘abstinence only’ education does not work. As ethicist and former Catholics for Choice president Frances Kissling remarked at a press conference in Washington several years ago, if abstinence education does not work well in Catholic seminaries, why would anyone expect it to work anywhere else.”

  2. Beth Says:

    TFN–The link in the last paragraph (to the TSU report) is broken.

  3. TFN Says:

    Thanks! The link should be working now.

  4. navedz Says:

    We need to teach the children well that sex is something which should be practiced only under marriage. It is very important teenagers shy away from sex and not fall for sex outside marriage. I believe we as society are responsible in ruining the children.
    I wish people took chastity more as honour and self respect. I wish they spent as much time planning when to get pregnant, with WHOM, under what circumstances as they do planning their next vacation.

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