HPPR hosts & contributors
Wed July 10, 2013
Texas Sex Education Standards: Do You Fix It If It Isn't Broken?
Texas democratic lawmakers have introduced two bills that would change health and sex education curriculum. KUT News reported the bills are in response to State Bill 1- the bill restricting abortions.
Both bills continue the current abstinence focus. State Bill 25 requires schools to teach evidence based, or recognized as medically accurate, and verified by research, if more than abstinence-only sex education is taught. State bill 26 also requires evidence based sex education, in addition to comprehensive sex education.
Here are the pregnancy rates for teens, ages 15-19, per 1,000 women, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute:
- Texas 85
- Oklahoma 80
- Colorado 66
- Kansas 63
- Nebraska 50
New Mexico had the highest rate: 93/1,000. New Hampshire was lowest with 33/1,000.
Jonathan Saenz, with the group Texas Values, says Texas pregnancy rates have dropped 33% since 1991, when strong, abstinence policies were instituted. He asks if new legislation is necessary when what is in place seems to be working.