Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2009
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senator Ellis Comments on Pro-Life Lobby Day
Calls for support of comprehensive sex education legislation

AUSTIN — Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today issued the following statement regarding Pro-Life Lobby Day and reducing abortion in Texas.

"I welcome the Pro-Life Lobby Day participants to the Capitol today and I applaud the Governor and others for weighing in on the importance of reducing abortion in Texas. I hope each and every one of them will join me in support of the only plan we know works -- fact-based, comprehensive sex education and expanded access to contraception.

"Study after study has proven that abstinence-only education doesn't prevent teen pregnancies. It is time for Texas to do what works. Sex education curriculum that focuses solely on abstinence and failure rates of birth control isn’t helping Texas teens. We need to teach young people how to protect themselves and let them know that we want them to stay in school, graduate and leave parenting to later in life when they’re emotionally and financially prepared. Education Works.

"We also know what does not work, and that is abstinence-only education. Despite stressing abstinence-only, a recent CDC report shows that teen birth rates increased for the first time in 14 years and our state now ranks 3rd from the bottom in teen pregnancy rate, behind only Mississippi and New Mexico. We can't continue failing teens by keeping important and lifesaving information about contraception from them. They need to learn about healthy relationships, how to delay sexual activity, and how to protect themselves from a teen pregnancy or STD when they become sexually active.

"Finally, we know that Texans support fact-based sex education. According to a recent Scripps Howard poll, 90 percent of Texans support favor "teaching public school students age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education."

" The status quo is not working. It's time to take the politics out of this issue and rely on what works – science and education. I hope those speaking out today will join me in passing legislation that will truly address this challenge."