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

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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/


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.


Austin City Council Repeals Unconstitutional Ordinance, Passes Another

January 30, 2012

Liberty Institute, on behalf of three Austin, TX-area pregnancy resource centers, opposed an unconstitutional and newly proposed city ordinance requiring pregnancy centers, under the threat of criminal penalties, to disclose government-mandated information about their services at their front entrances—information the pregnancy centers already provide to women inside their facilities. At the council meeting last Thursday, the Council voted to repeal the first ordinance. The Council then voted, however, to enact a newly proposed ordinance that suffers from many of the same constitutional defects.

“We are disappointed that the Austin City Council passed the amended ordinance and disregarded the Constitution, the holdings of three Federal District Courts, and discriminated against charitable pregnancy centers that serve the women of Austin,” said Erin Leu, attorney with the Liberty Institute. “The amended ordinance is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. We are confident that the Federal Court will strike it down as unlawful.”

Since the Austin City Council chose to pass the new proposal, Liberty Institute’s clients, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, and the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, will proceed with their federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance. In three other federal district court cases in other jurisdictions, federal judges have held similar ordinances unconstitutional.

Liberty Institute discusses with KXAN news:


Austin City Council Ignores Advice of Its Own Lawyers, Proposes Another Unconstitutional Pregnancy Ordinance

January 24, 2012

AUSTIN, TX, January 24, 2012—Today, Liberty Institute, on behalf of three Austin, TX-area pregnancy resource centers submitted a comment letter to the Mayor, City Council members and attorneys for the City of Austin, opposing as unconstitutional a newly proposed city ordinance requiring pregnancy centers, under the threat of criminal penalties, to disclose government-mandated information about their services at their front entrances, information that the pregnancy centers already provide to women inside their facilities.

On January 26, the Austin City Council will discuss Chapter 10-9 of the Austin City Code, which, last week, the City’s Law Department recommended should be repealed. In addition to repealing the unconstitutional ordinance, the Austin City Council will also consider amending the ordinance.  The newly proposed ordinance, however, suffers from many of the same defects including unfair application to facilities the City disagrees with and violates the First Amendment because it is compelled speech and discriminates on the basis of viewpoint.

“We encourage the Austin City Council to follow the recommendations of its own lawyers and simply repeal the current ordinance that the City never enforced and is already the subject of a federal lawsuit, and do nothing more.  This rogue Council has now proposed a new ordinance that is even more unconstitutional and shows that Mayor Leffingwell and Member Spelman would rather waste taxpayer dollars in court then do what’s best for the people,” said Jonathan Saenz, an attorney and director of legislative affairs for Liberty Institute in Austin.

Coauthors of the letter include former Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez, David Lill, and, attorneys with Liberty Institute, who are co-counsel representing three Austin area pregnancy resource centers in the pending federal lawsuit, Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, et al. v. City of Austin.

If the Austin City Council fails to repeal the original ordinance or passes an amended ordinance as proposed, Liberty Institute’s clients, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, and the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, will proceed with their federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance. In three other federal district court cases in other jurisdictions, federal judges have held similar ordinances unconstitutional.

Liberty Institute is a non-profit legal firm defending and restoring religious freedom across America.

Click here to see the full release.


Watch Our Video on Texas Sonogram Case Victory!!

January 12, 2012

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/January/Texas-Can-Enforce-Sonogram-Viewing-Law-for-Now/

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

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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