From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2009
Contact: Kathryn Freeman, (512) 463-0126

Senator Van de Putte Continues to Fight to Reduce Teen Pregnancy in Texas
SB 592 would allow Teen Moms to Consent for Contraceptives

(AUSTIN, TX) — Today, the Texas Senate considered SB 592 authored by Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio),which allows 16 and 17 year olds who have already have one child to have access to family planning counseling and services.

Texas has the highest percentage of repeat teen births (24%) in the nation. A teen mom in Texas has a one in four chance of getting pregnant a second time before she turns 18. A sexually active teen who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within in a year. For teen mothers this is especially dangerous because closely spaced pregnancies result in a higher percentage of low birth weight babies that lead to higher risks of complications to the babies' long-term health and greater costs for the state of Texas.

"This legislation is about common sense. Why do we trust teen mothers to consent for the medical care of their infants but we don't let them utilize family planning services? Making it harder to get birth control does nothing to reduce sexual activity – it only increases unplanned pregnancies.

"I am disappointed that I was unsuccessful in securing final passage of SB 592. It was an extremely close vote and I look forward to working to convince my Senate colleagues that this bill is a step towards reducing the number of repeat teen pregnancies in Texas.

"My grandmother always said, "if at first you don't succeed, try again." The teen pregnancy crisis in Texas is too important not to continue this fight.

"Let's put "common sense" back into the equation," said Senator Van de Putte.