Texas has become a laboratory for bad ideas when it comes to reproductive rights. In recent years state lawmakers have passed some of the toughest anti-abortion measures in the country, essentially making the procedure almost inaccessible for many Texas women.

The Texas Freedom Network supports efforts to ensure women have access to abortion and other reproductive health care services. That access requires adequate state funding and broad availability of birth control, especially for low-income women.

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The Latest on Reproductive Rights

Do you know young folks who want to advocate for responsible sexuality education in Texas? The Texas Freedom Network is now accepting applications for our 2009 Summer Summit Activist Training. The summit will be in Austin June 12-13, and participants must be ages 15-24. The application deadline is May 26.

Participants will learn how to get involved in local school districts to promote sexuality education that emphasizes abstinence while also including medically accurate information on responsible pregnancy and disease prevention. They will also learn strategies for motivating their peers and encouraging them to join the cause.

Why is this so important? Texas has among the nation’s highest rates of teen births and sexually transmitted infections. Yet a recent TFN Education Fund report revealed that Texas classrooms are perpetuating a “conspiracy of silence” that robs young people of the reliable information they need to make responsible life decisions when it comes to sexuality and health. Even worse, the information students do receive is often grossly distorted or simply wrong.

The Summer Summit will be held at the University of Texas campus in Austin and is free for participants. Participants will stay at… Read More

Did you miss our live-blogging of the Texas House Public Education Committee hearing on reforming sexuality education in the state with the nation’s third-highest teen birth rate? Well, we offer this gem from Kyleen Wright of the Texans for Life Coalition, which insists on abstinence-only-until-marriage education in public schools:

9:49 – Wright: “You offend parents far less by giving less information than (by) giving (teens) more.” 

Good grief. We can’t remember a more absurd argument for keeping teens ignorant.… Read More

Texas has the nation’s third-highest teen birth rate yet receives more federal abstinence-only funding than any other state in the country. What’s wrong with this picture?

We just finished a briefing for Capitol reporters about two very important bills under consideration by the Texas House Public Education Committee this afternoon. House Bill 741 by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, would require that Texas public schools teach comprehensive, “abstinence-plus,” sex education. HB 1567 by Rep. Michael Villarreal, D-San Antonio, would require that all information taught about condoms and other forms of contraception and disease prevention be medically accurate.

A Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report about sexuality education in public schools shows why these bills are so important. More than 9 in 10 Texas school districts teach nothing about responsible pregnancy and disease prevention, taking instead an abstinence-only approach. And most abstinence-only programs are plagued with errors and misinformation and rely on fear, shame and stereotypes to teach teens about sexuality and health. Moreover, public polling shows that support for comprehensive sexuality education is overwhelming.

So what’s the problem? Need you ask?

The abstinence-only pressure groups are out in force. Kyleen… Read More

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