Saturday, April 12, 2008

In spite of highest funding for abstinence-only, Texas has highest repeat teen birth rate

Abstinence-only is big in Texas.

The Lone Star state gets almost twice as much in federal funding for abstinence-only education as any other state, about $17 million a year. Is this somehow because President Bush lives there and he supports abstinence-only education for teens? Not sure.

At any rate, the abstinence-only plan is apparently not working. Texas has the nation's highest birth rate among teens who already have a baby, at 24%. The national average for repeat births to teens is 20%, and in many of New England's blue states, it's less than 15%.

Part of the discrepancy is due to higher abortion rates in northern states. Nonetheless, even supporters of abstinence-only programs must conclude that these plans are not preventing teens from having sex. Worse, they are failing to educate teens about birth control.


Marian Starkey, December 2007. "Texas has highest repeat birth rate." The Reporter, the magazine of Population Connection.

J. Swedish. "Texas ranks number one in the nation for abstinence-only funding and births to teen mothers. What's wrong with this picture?" Nation Women's Law Center.

See also Dallas Morning News article by Robert T. Garrett

Keywords: abstinence only, teen birth, repeat teen birth, Texas, birth control, protected sex

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