Reproductive Rights

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.

Resources

Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Justice

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Texans Stand Up for Access to Birth Control: Results from a Statewide Survey of Texas Voters (2013 report)

A new report from the Guttmacher Institute shows that the nation's teen pregnancy rate has increased for the first time in more than a decade. During that decade federal, state and local governments have spent billions of dollars on abstinence-0nly programs that deliberately exclude medically accurate information about contraception and other methods of responsible disease prevention. From Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate for the Guttmacher Institute: “After more than a decade of progress, this reversal is deeply troubling. It coincides with an increase in rigid abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, which received major funding boosts under the Bush administration. A strong body of research shows that these programs do not work. Fortunately, the heyday of this failed experiment has come to an end with the enactment of a new teen pregnancy prevention initiative that ensures that programs will be age-appropriate, medically accurate and, most importantly, based on research demonstrating their effectiveness.”…… Read More

Maybe Rick Scarborough should run for chair of the Texas Republican Party of Texas. After all, we're beginning to think the head of the far-right group Vision America (based in Lufkin) could be even more extreme than the Texas GOP's current chair, Cathie Adams. (See here and here for examples of Adams' extremism.) In a fundraising e-mail today, Pastor Scarborough once again aligned himself with the fringe right-wingers who run around claiming that President Obama wasn't born in the United States and thus isn't eligible to be president. Never mind that such nonsense has been debunked definitively and repeatedly, including here. Scarborough has money to raise. So today Pastor Scarborough's e-mail notes "two marching evils." First: "Out of control spending that will bankrupt the nation if not stopped and reversed, driven by a man who may not even be legally qualified to be our President."…… Read More

From yesterday’s TFN News Clips:

“They just kind of say, ‘Don’t do it.’ And then before prom, they say, ‘Don’t go to Motel 6.'”

— Tracey Bark, a Frisco High junior, discussing the abstinence-only sex education she received in her freshman health class.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news on issues involving the religious right, religious freedom, civil liberties and public education. Subscribe here.Read More

The Texas Freedom Network was grateful for the strong efforts of Texas legislators who worked in Austin this year on critical issues such as responsible sex education, medical research and public education. We had some important victories and some disappointing setbacks. But along the way we worked with legislators who fearlessly championed mainstream values and fought back against the far right’s divisive agenda in Texas. We were very happy to honor three of those key lawmakers at our San Antonio reception for TFN supporters last Tuesday (Sept. 22):

Senator Leticia Van de Putte Representative Joaquin Castro Representative Mike Villarreal

When others were reluctant to step forward, these three lawmakers challenged their colleagues to address one of Texas’ most pressing public health issues: the appallingly high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Despite repeated attempts by opponents to stonewall their efforts, these San Antonio lawmakers were tireless in their advocacy for medically accurate, evidence-based sex education programs in our schools. Even though sex-ed legislation they championed did not ultimately win passage this year, TFN is optimistic about the possibilities for real change in coming years largely because these three… Read More

Given the news earlier this month about shockingly high rates of multiple births to teens in Texas (see here and here), we thought we’d share (again) data from this year’s Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report about sexuality education in Texas public schools. What are Texas school districts teaching students about responsible pregnancy and disease prevention?

See the problem?… Read More

LGBT Foundation

Happy International #PronounsDay! Today is a chance for us to make respecting, sharing & educating about personal pronouns more commonplace Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity Find out more at lgbt.foundation/pron… pic.twitter.com/dy8l…