On Thursday, I will join hundreds of Texans on the south steps of the Capitol to speak at a rally supporting access to women’s healthcare. As I prepare my remarks, I can’t help but think about the 2013 special sessions and standing on those same steps looking out at a sea of women, men and children donning orange shirts in support of healthcare access.
I’ll never forget seeing and hearing the thousands of people in their Capitol opposing a draconian measure that has now resulted in clinic closures across our state and reduced access to cancer screenings and birth control.
In a state with the highest rate of repeat teen births and the fourth-highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, access to medical resources like contraception is essential. Equally essential is access to quality medically accurate, evidence-based sex education.
Studies have shown that evidence-based, medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education delays sexual activity, increases the likelihood of using protection and increases the likelihood that youth will start a conversation with parents about sexual health.
I have filed a bill that would require sex education focus not just on abstinence education, but also include information about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy prevention and other issues related to sexual health.
Last week’s Texas 101 Day at the Capitol was a huge success. The group had a great time being recognized in the House of Representatives; hearing from legislative leaders, including Senator Rodney Ellis and Representatives Joe Moody, Nicole Collier and Ramon Romero; and taking tours of the Capitol and the State Library and Archives.
If you missed this year’s trip, don’t worry, we’ll do it all over again next legislative session in 2017! And, you and your family are welcome to visit my Capitol office any time — my staff and I will do everything we can to make your visit enjoyable and memorable!