The Texas Freedom Network sends along this information:
Texas has the third-highest teen birthrate in the nation. In fact, a Texas teen gets pregnant every 10 minutes, and teen childbearing costs the state’s taxpayers $1 billion annually. Yet at least twice in the past year state agencies halted efforts to apply for millions of dollars in federal Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grants for teen pregnancy- and STD-prevention following discussions with Gov. Perry’s office. PREP’s purpose is to educate youth ages 10-19 on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. But Gov. Perry supports abstinence-only policies that are common throughout most Texas public schools.
But it gets worse:
Moreover, the state has now failed to follow through on at least two efforts to obtain substantial funding for evidence-based, abstinence-plus sex education:
In August 2010, the state Department of State Health Services (DSHS) drafted an application for $4.4 million in federal PREP funding for the state, but the application was pulled at the last minute. A DSHS official told the Texas Tribune: “The [Health and Human Services] Executive Commissioner [Tom Suehs] made the final decision, and the governor’s office was part of that discussion.” (Texas Tribune)
TFN has now learned that another state effort – this time by the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) – to apply for PREP funding ended in April 2011. The OAG worked in collaboration with a number of other state agencies (including DSHS, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) and representatives from various private and nonprofit health organizations. On April 21, just as the PREP grant application appeared to be completed and following a meeting with the governor’s office, the OAG pulled the plug on the project. Documents obtained by TFN under the Texas Public Information Act indicate that the sudden decision to end the project dismayed staff members and individuals from the various agencies collaborating on the grant. The OAG has refused to release all documents related to the project, citing attorney-client privilege and exemptions for certain interagency or intra-agency memoranda under the state’s open records act.
We’ve already seen how this movie ends.