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


Trial Begins Today on Austin Pregnancy Resource Center Ordinance

April 9, 2012

We’re representing three pregnancy centers against the City of Austin in court today, combatting their targeted effort against charitable centers that are pro-life.


“Under God” License Plate Now Available

April 2, 2012

One State Under God Texas license plateThe “One State Under God” license plate, which features a picture of Calvary Hill, is now available for order online from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. A portion of the proceeds will go to a nonprofit ministry in East Texas that supports outreach to at-risk children.  You can order the license plate here.

While some extreme liberal activist groups, like Texas Freedom Network, were in favor of banning the plates and allowing the government to exclude a person’s private choice to express their strongly held religious beliefs, these groups are simply out of the mainstream of Texas values. The phrase “One State Under God” was almost unanimously passed by the Texas Legislature and added to the Texas Pledge in 2007.  The purchase and design of a specialty license plate is a private decision and a private endeavor that merely passes through the DMV as one of many private or public arrangements that Texas participates in with the public. In this debate on the “Under God” license plate, the left simply continues to show part of its true agenda is to attack private choices of free expression and speech, especially when they are expressions of a strongly held religious belief, particularly Christianity.

Liberty Institute testified in favor of the “One State Under God” license plate, which passed the Texas DMV board in December of last year. See our press release from last December here.


Texas Rally for Religious Freedom -Tomorrow – Texas Capitol-South Entrance!

March 22, 2012

Please stand with us and make your voice heard for Religous Liberty!  Tomorrow, noon, Texas Capitol South Entrance, just along 11th street, we’ll be speaking at one of the many Religious Freedom rallies being held across the country to push back against the Obama Administration’s effort to force religious entities to violate their conscience through Obamacare provisions by having the government force private religious entities to pay for health measure that violate their conscience.  Let me say that again, the government is forcing private religions to violate their religious beliefs and pay for acts that violate their religious beliefs.  I thought these people wanted the government and religion to be separate.  The double standard could not be more obvious.

Let’s also be clear, women have access to abortifacients and birth control at nearly every corner drug store often at a low cost. Access is not the issue.  The issue is that some people have such an entitlement mentality that they think that the government should force you to violate your own religious beliefs with your own private money and pay for their choices.  If Planned Parenthood is so vital to women like they claim, than why aren’t the Hollywood liberals and Lance Armstrong giving more of their private money directly to Planned Parenthood?  If PP is so important than they should be able to survive off private donations.  If not, than their value has been oversold, as we’ve known for many years.

If the government can force religions to pay for free devices on a life and death issue that forces the religious entities to violate their own beliefs, than the religious freedom protection we have in the U.S. Constitution is meaningless and we will all be defenseless against the federal government.

Is personal responsibilty being taught in government schools anymore?  Apparently not enough, if at all.

Stand with Us tomorrow for Religious Liberty!  http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/377925832232013/


Voters Guide Update – Candidate Questionnaires Going out Today!

March 15, 2012

Now that the Texas Primary Election date has finally been set for May 29, 2012 and the filling deadline has passed, our questionnaires are now ready to be sent to the candidates.  This year we are joining forces with Heritage Alliance, American Family Association, and Texas Eagle Forum in sending out one joint questionnaire to candidates.  These invitations will be going out via email to the campaigns and will ask that the candidates log in and fill out the questionnaire electronically.  The email invitations will start going out today.

If you are a candidate in the Texas Republican Primary for State House, State Senate, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, State Board of Education, Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, or any other statewide office and do not receive an email invitation by the end of today, that likely means we do not have contact information for your campaign. If you do not receive an invitation today please contact, as soon as possible, Joni Boggs at jboggs@heritagealliance.com and provide her with an email address for the campaign so that we can send an invitation. The questionnaires must be filled out online.

Our 2012 Voters Guide will be distributed exclusively though our updated freevotersguide.com website. On freevotersguide.com, you will be able to access a personalized guide based on your address, and in addition to our comprehensive candidate questionnaire, you will find important information on candidates’ voting records, and have access to important voter registration and get-out-the-vote tools.   Be sure to visit freevotersguide.com and provide us your email address today to join our voters guide team to be kept up to date on when the voters guide will be released.

Texans deserve to know where candidates stand on important issues – so don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of the most widely distributed Voters Guide in the state!


Celebrate Texas Independence Day! God Bless Texas

March 2, 2012

Today, March 2nd, marks the day in 1836 when Texas declared its independence from Mexico, that led later in the year to the successful Battle of San Jacinto where Sam Houston led a diverse group of Texians, Tejanos, and many from other states to victory for Texas Independence over Santa Anna and Mexico.  As a native Texan (at least 5th generation!), I am proud of the history of our state and the legacy of liberty and family values that surrounds us here in Texas and will always be part of the spirit of the Lone Star State.

Here are some local celebrations taking place this week around the Austin area.

As we see numerous conflicts taking place today between Texas’ ability to govern itself without the overreaching efforts of Washington, D.C., we see that the independent nature of Texans and the value of fighting for liberty is still important.

But I am also proud that our state has a rich history of reverence and devotion to God, as evidenced by the many missions, historical churches and cultural traditions of Texas that are faith-based.

So on Texas Independence Day I am thankful that we still have the freedom to display the message “One State Under God”  (see details here )if we want, and I continue to pray that our Lord will answer are often plea: GOD BLESS TEXAS!


Texas Stands Up To Washington, Planned Parenthood

March 1, 2012

Last week, the Texas Health & Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs, Gov. Rick Perry, and Attorney General Greg Abbott all stood tall against Planned Parenthood and the Obama administration on the issue of use of taxpayer funds for the Woman’s Health Program (WHP) in Texas by abortion providers.

As a result of legislation passed in Texas in 2011, which Liberty Institute was instrumental in supporting, Planned Parenthood will effectively be defunded of taxpayer dollars from the WHP in March of 2012, as there are numerous other healthcare providers in Texas that can meet the needs of Texas women without having an abortion connection dragging them down.  At least 11 Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas have already closed as a result. The feds have threatened to shut down the WHP completely if Planned Parenthood is not included in the program.  Sounds like the feds care more about playing politics than meeting the needs of women.  As Texas has done time and time again, our leaders stood tall against another attempted Washington, D.C. takeover.

Take Action! Please send Gov. Perry an email thanking him for his support on this issue! The abortion supporters are flooding the Governor’s office so our side needs to show up!  You can thank the Governor here.


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