including the teen pregnancy rate
But everything's bigger in Texas, including dreams of being No. 1 (or 50, depending on whether you think a state of knocked up teens is an achievement), so of course social conservatives are working on a genius new plan for that. Dallas News reports:
Social conservatives are now getting behind a bill that would ensure that all schools become Planned Parenthood-free zones. And the bills would add an extra step, to already arduous reviews, before any experts present materials to encourage students to abstain from sex.Now, a fella—a thinking fella—might look at the lack of sex education in half of Texas schools and think that might have something to do with the preponderance of teens ending up pregnant. But there's no thinking allowed in social conservatism, so of course they look at those numbers and think the problem, the real problem, is Planned Parenthood. It's the mere existence of Planned Parenthood—which Texas has already done its college-dropout best to defund—that is making those teens have The Sex and end up with The Pregnancy. Just eliminate from the schools the organization that provides the education and resources to teach teens how to prevent pregnancy, and that will totally eliminate teen pregnancy.
This in a state where already half of the state’s 1,028 school districts don’t have sex ed instruction, and many of the rest teach abstinence-only. [...]
The latest statistics show that Texas in 2010 had the largest number of teen births in the country — 47,751. In surveys, between 52 and 70 percent of high school seniors in Texas say they have engaged in sex.
Or not. As I wrote on Sunday (and about a million times before that), abstinence-only education not only doesn't prevent teens from having sex, getting pregnant, and spreading sexually transmitted diseases—it actually makes things worse. Teens have sex no matter how many times they're told not to, so the only way to reduce rates of pregnancy and disease is to provide them with comprehensive, honest, science-based education so they'll know how to protect themselves. Because when all they're offered is "Just say no" and "Planned Parenthood is bad," well, that's how you end up with the the worst rates of teen pregnancy in the nation. Like in Texas.