Study Houston Leads in Births Under age 15

By TODD ACKERMAN Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

Aug. 31, 2009, 10:54PM
Consider that Texas arbitrarily raised the age of conscent in the state of Texas – To help them nail a bunch of Mormons a case after all was said and done netted the State nothing, and added to the number of lawsuits the State is dealing with and paying for.

Consider that in public schools they are teaching sex ed, masturbation, homosexuality, and to kindergardeners, -- the schools are handing out condoms and encouraging sex between students.

Consider that everything is being made legal to these children – EXCEPT FOR MARRIAGE.  If the government insists that sex be taught in schools at early ages – then it would seem prudent to demand that government lower the age of marriage.  If they will not do so then they should not and can not teach sex to young children.  It is one or the other, not two different stadards that only cause sin and indecency, pregnancy and single unmarried mothers.

Even once these girls have birthed children at age 10,11, 12, 13, 14, they still can not get married – this akin to being able to join the military and face death but not to be able to vote.  How is this protecting children? How is this healthy?  

More girls under 15 give birth in Houston than any other U.S. city, according to a new national report, and many of the city's teen moms have additional children before they turn 20.

The report by the research organization Child Trends found that there were 20 percent more babies born to girls 14 or younger in Houston than in New York and Los Angeles in 2006 and that 24 percent of all Houston's teen births were repeat births that year, the latest for which data is available. (These kids are having school sanctioned and school encouraged sex and then becoming sexually active at ages 10. 11. 12. 13, and 14)

It's cause for concern,” said Jennifer Manlove, a senior research scientist at Washington-based Child Trends, which uses data from the National Center for Health Statistics to produce the annual report. “Teen births are increasing again, both nationally and in Texas.”

The national increase noted in the report marked a second consecutive jump after a 14-year decline. Texas actually improved from possessing the highest teen birth rate in 2005 to the third highest in 2006, but only because its rate didn't increase as much as those of New Mexico and Mississippi.

In addition, Texas' numbers were particularly unsettling in a number of subcategories.

Among all births involving teenage mothers, Dallas had the nation's highest percentage of repeat births — 28 percent. San Antonio was fourth with 26 percent, Fort Worth eighth with 25 percent and Houston and Austin 14th and 15th, respectively, with 24 percent.

The report was seized by Texas child advocacy and health groups as one more indictment of the state's abstinence-only education policy. (Nod nod wink wink)

“The state of Texas needs to understand that what it's doing isn't working,” said Robert Sanborn, president and chief executive officer of Children at Risk. “No matter how many reports show this kind of data, the Legislature continues to be blind to it.”

Sanborn specifically criticized the 2009 Legislature for rejecting bills that would have required schools to provide “medically accurate information” in addition to promoting abstinence.

Sanborn also said that the number of babies delivered by girls under 15 shows sex is occurring at middle schools and that those schools need to recognize the reality.

He said he's all for emphasizing abstinence but that students who don't follow such teaching should have access to information about contraception.

What drives rate?

A study by the Texas Freedom Network earlier this year found 94 percent of Texas schools don't give students any sex education beyond urging abstinence.

Sanborn said he thought most middle schools don't mention sex at all.

Manlove said Texas' high teen birth rates are particularly driven by the state's large population of Hispanics, in whom teenage motherhood is more culturally accepted than it is in other ethnicities.

But Sanborn and Ruth Buzi of Baylor College of Medicine's Teen Health Clinic said teen birth rates are not as high in other cities with large Hispanic populations but less restrictive sex educationoccur among married couples. The national average is 14 percent.