Texas and National Teen Birth Rates Drop To Historic Lows, Shows Continued Effectiveness Of Abstinence Education

April 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

The Impact of Divorce on Children – Results of Recent Study

January 24, 2012

An overview of the negative impacts of divorce on children from a new groundbreaking study:

1. Children from divorced families died almost five years earlier than those from intact families.

2. Facing parental divorce during childhood was the single strongest social predictor of early death, many years into the future.

3. Having one’s parents divorce during childhood was a much stronger predictor of mortality risk than was parental death.

4. The experience of parental divorce was strongly linked to earlier mortality from all causes, including accidents, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

5. For boys whose parents divorce, the risk of dying from accidents and violence was particularly robust, as they grew up to be more reckless.

6. Children’s standards of living decreased, on average, when their parents divorced, but the psychological effects went beyond the economic changes.

7. Girls and boys from divorced homes tended to end their education earlier than those from intact families, with the expected problems that then ensued.

8. Boys and girls from divorced homes were more likely to smoke and drink when they got older, as compared to their peers from intact families.

9. Girls from divorced families were than 100% more likely to become heavy smokers

10. Those who had lived through their parents’ divorce when they were children were more likely to have their own marriages end in divorce, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle.

11. A positive family environment—having positive feelings about one’s family—did not ameliorate the detrimental effects of divorce. Boys with positive family feelings lived shorter lives, as it was especially traumatic to have a seemingly positive, functional home torn apart.

12. Men who divorced were at much higher mortality risk than those who remained married. Even remarried men didn’t live as long as those who stayed steadily married.

This unique life-span study dramatically extended and confirmed similar (but shorter-term or less intensive) findings in this area by researchers such as Drs. Rena Repetti, Paul Amato, Judth Wallerstein, Andrew Cherlin, Jennifer Lansford, Robert Anda and others. See Howard S. Friedman & Leslie R. Martin (2011). The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study. NY: Hudson Street Press. Information being distributed by Coalition for Divorce.

Download a full pdf version of this information here.

Texas Sonogram Law Prevents Doctors From Banning Women From Seeing Sonogram

January 18, 2012

The Texas Sonogram law is now in full effect as of January 13, 2012, as ordered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Yes, every abortion clinic and abortion doctor in Texas must follow this law, now.  Any doctor seeking to perform an abortion on a woman in Texas must follow this law that protects women and makes it illegal for doctors to prevent a woman from seeing a sonogram image.  During the legislative process, we heard so many women testify about how abortion clinic doctors would not let them see the sonogram image.

The Sonogram law requires:

1. A woman must have the sonogram displayed so she can see it.

2. A woman must have a sonogram performed on her.

3. The baby’s heartbeat must be made audible so the woman can hear it.

4. A woman must be given a description of the sonogram image.

5. A woman must have a face to face meeting with the abortion doctor.

6. A woman must be given this information 24 hours before the abortion.

If a doctor does not provide a woman with this information, the doctor faces civil penalties.

Spread the word, and make sure every woman in Texas knows that she now has significant protections in the law when she goes into an abortion clinic.  If you hear of any doctor or abortion clinic not following this law, please contact our office immediately at 512-478-2220.

Court: Texas Sonogram Law To Be Enforced Immediately

January 13, 2012

See the court’s order here.   5th Circuit Order 011312    

See the Texas Attorney General’s request here.    State Motion for Mandate 011212

Thanks again to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his outstanding staff!

Watch Our Video on Texas Sonogram Case Victory!!

January 12, 2012


By the way, big thanks goes to Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell for doing an excellent job defending the Texas Sonogram law!!

Texas’ Sonogram Law Ruled Constitutional, Signaling Biggest Pro-Life Victory This Decade

January 10, 2012

U.S. Fifth Circuit Court Upholds Law Stating Sonograms Must Be Performed 24 Hours Before Abortions 

AUSTIN, Texas, January 10, 2012 – Today, Liberty Institute announced a major pro-life victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared constitutional the recently enacted Texas Sonogram Law, also known as HB 15. The Fifth Circuit’s decision overturned a controversial ruling by U.S. District Judge Sparks, which enjoined the Texas law co-authored by Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in May 2011. The law requires doctors and certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure.

“This is one of the most important victories in the past 10 years for informed consent for women seeking an abortion,” said Jonathan Saenz, Liberty Institute Attorney who heads the office at the Texas Capitol and provided the main legal testimony for the bill during the legislative process. “Women and unborn children in Texas are safer today because of this decision and no longer subject to the abuse of abortion doctors who deny women critical medical information.”

HB 15, which amends the 2003 Texas Woman’s Right to Know Act (“WRKA”), requires the physician “who is to perform an abortion” to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, as well as explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion.

Senator Patrick said, “I was always confident that our bill would survive any constitutional question because our goal from the beginning was to protect the woman’s right to know, protect the unborn and protect the constitution.”

Representative Sid Miller, said, “I commend the court of appeals for this just decision which confirms that women have every right to be fully informed about the abortion decision and that my fellow Texas lawmakers who supported this law stayed within the bounds of U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”

In August, on behalf of Senator Patrick and Representative Miller and in support of the law, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit seeking to strike down Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15), which was originally scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2011.  Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively.  Liberty Institute argued that HB 15 is consistent with The Supreme Court and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

Read the Fifth Circuit Court’s Opinion here.

Download this press release here.

Texas Sonogram Law Ruled Constitutional

January 10, 2012

Breaking News — Texas Sonogram law ruled constitutional! The Fifth Circuit Court (Edith Jones opinion) holds recently enacted Texas Sonogram law constitutional. The Fifth Circuit reversed Judge Sparks, vacating his granting of preliminary injunction, which had stopped enforcement of the Texas Sonogram law.

Check back to the blog today for a full press release with quotes from the bill’s authors, Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller. Liberty Institute, on behalf of Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller, had filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the law.

You can download the 5th Circuit Court opinion here

Update: See here for Liberty Institute’s press release.

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