Despite ample amounts of research and statistics proving that higher rates of teen pregnancies occur when there’s a lack of comprehensive sex education, Texas and other states still push abstinence-only education while also making contraception less accessible.
The University of Florida-Pensacola conducted a study examining the number of nationwide births by females ages 15 to 19 between 2006 and 2012. The overall number of births declined, but there were exceptions in areas where contraception was harder to access and abstinence-only education was not coupled with comprehensive sex-ed.
Texas has the fifth-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation — more than 35,000 teen births in 2014 — and the state leads the country in repeat teen pregnancies. When comprehensive sex-ed is taught, the teen pregnancy rate drops. A quarter of Texas public schools offered no sex-ed at all during the 2015-2016 school year, however 58 percent of school districts did teach abstinence-only education.
Making matters worse, funding was cut in 2011 for abortion providers , which resulted in the closing of 82 family planning clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood.
The Lone Star State began offering free contraception to teens in 2015, but anyone under the age of 18 needs parental consent to get the birth control. This could explain the higher rate of repeat pregnancies – teens don’t often feel comfortable discussing their sex lives with their parents.