Donna Garner sets Austin American Statesman Reporter, Clara O’Rourke straight on Fact Checking

First, let me suggest that instead of your spending time fact checking my article, you might want to fact check Joe Straus’ assertions that he placed on the Drudge Report as quoted by the Texas Tribune (11.20.10): "Pro-Life. Low tax champion. Join other conservatives in standing with speaker Joe Straus."

[Friends, this is long; and you may not have time to read anything but the first part.  However, you may want to keep this e-mail in a folder somewhere for documentation purposes when asked. 

 

What I have done here is to provide Clara O’Rourke, reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, with documentation to show that Joe Straus is indeed tied to Planned Parenthood and the content they wanted to be implemented into public school sex education programs. -- Donna Garner]

 

To:  Clara O’Rourke, Reporter, Austin American-Statesman

Date:  11.24.10

From:  Donna Garner

 

Clara, first let me say that I read, write, research, and publish my articles frequently on the Internet.  I receive no remuneration for my hours of intense work.  I am not tied to any organization but am simply exercising my First Amendment rights to free speech. 

 

You wrote to me and said you are doing a fact check of my article sent out on 11.3.10 entitled “Time To Take the Texas House Speakership Back.”

 

You are questioning the assertion that I made about Joe Straus when I said he “was co-author of a bill that would have allowed Planned Parenthood to control public school sex education,..”  You asked me to point you to the bill in question. 

 

First, let me suggest that instead of your spending time fact checking my article, you might want to fact check Joe Straus’ assertions that he placed on the Drudge Report as quoted by the Texas Tribune (11.20.10):  “Pro-Life. Low tax champion. Join other conservatives in standing with speaker Joe Straus.”

However, even though I am just a private citizen who publishes my articles on the Internet, I will go ahead and honor your request for documentation behind my statement in the article you mentioned:

 

Joe Straus was the co-author of H. B. 1842 (80th Regular Legislative Session, 2007).  He and other legislators sought to change the wording in the Texas Education Code, Section 28.004 (see highlighted text in the EOC further on down the page).  

 

Starting in 1996, abstinence programs to receive federal funding have been required to follow the A-H guidelines as set forth in Title V, sec. 510(b)(2) of the federal Social Security Act.  

 

[To read the A-H requirements, please go to the section marked “Opponents Say” that is posted further on down this page.]  

 

Texas parents were pleased with the Title V A-H requirements and saw no need to change the wording.  Straus, influenced by Planned Parenthood, sought to change that wording by passing H. B. 1842. 

 

This quote from the HRO Bill Analysis reveals why many in the public did not want Straus’s H. B. 1842 to pass.  Thankfully the bill died without a vote on the House floor.  

 

Addressing why “typical use” and “perfect use” differ necessitates detailed discussions on how to put on a condom properly and other application use discussions. Modifications that allow for more liberal discussion on these issues would not serve the promotion of abstinence or help schools that wished to teach the abstinence-only model.

 

 

If Straus had been a true conservative, he would not have supported H. B. 1842.  His deep roots (and those of his wife) with Planned Parenthood undoubtedly led to his being a co-author of this bill.  It is no surprise that Planned Parenthood in its fall 2009 Horizon newsletter publicly highlighted Joe Straus’ support of its agenda.

 

It is also not a coincidence that liberal Straus is being supported by the gay-rights movement  (Dallas Voice, the media source for the LGBT community http://www.dallasvoice.com/straus-1052145.html ).

 

DOCUMENTATION FOR MY ARTICLE

 

Below I have given you the (1) HRO Bill Analysis showing what the opponents to H. B. 1842 said; the (2) the intent of Straus’s bill, (3) H. B. 1842 text, (4) the link to the bill’s authors/co-authors, (5) the Texas Education Code section in question, and the (6) Witness List for H. B. 1842.

 

HRO BILL ANALYSIS

 

According to the HRO Bill Analysis of HB 1842 on 5.8.07

( http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/pdf/ba80r/hb1842.pdf#navpanes=0), the Opponents said:  

 

Addressing why “typical use” and “perfect use” differ necessitates detailed discussions on how to put on a condom properly and other application use discussions. Modifications that allow for more liberal discussion on these issues would not serve the promotion of abstinence or help schools that wished to teach the abstinence-only model.

 

Here are other concerns voices by the opposition to this bill:

 

OPPONENTS SAY:

 

Public school sex education and a parent’s right to know. Under the bill [H.B. 1842], the definition of abstinence-only instruction could cast this method of instruction in a negative light.

 

Instead, the definition should parallel the definition of abstinence education adopted in Title V, sec. 510(b)(2) of the federal Social Security Act [A-H requirements] which describes an abstinence educational or motivational program as one that:

 

· has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;

 

· teaches abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage as the

expected standard for all school age children;

· teaches that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way

to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases,

and other associated health problems;

 

teaches that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context

of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity;

 

· teaches that sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is

likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects;

 

· teaches that bearing children out-of-wedlock is likely to have

harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;

 

teaches young people how to reject sexual advances and how

alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances;

and

 

· teaches the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging

in sexual activity.

 

The Social Security Act’s definition is more appropriate and would not provide an inaccurate description to parents.

 

Changing the context of how contraception and condom use should be taught in comprehensive sex education instruction could lead to the abandonment of the abstinence-only model.

 

Addressing why “typical use” and “perfect use” differ necessitates detailed discussions on how to put on a condom properly and other application use discussions. Modifications that allow for more liberal discussion on these issues would not serve the promotion of abstinence or help schools that wished to teach the abstinence-only model.

 

========================================================

THE INTENT OF STRAUS’ BILL

 

Joe Straus’s bill  (HB 1842) would have amended the TEC in the following manner:  (http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/pdf/ba80r/hb1842.pdf#navpanes=0):

 

Public school sex education and a parent’s right to know. The bill also would amend Education Code, sec. 28.004, concerning public school sex education, to require that courses teach contraception and condom use in terms of typical use rates and perfect use rates, with an emphasis on the reasons those rates differ, if included in the curriculum content

 

…If the instruction included contraception and condom use, the statement would have to specify that state law required the curriculum to be taught in terms of typical use rates and perfect use rates, with an emphasis on the reason those rates differ. Parents would have opportunities to review the curriculum materials and assist in curriculum development.

 

 

…The bill would define:

· “abstinence-only instruction” to mean instruction that did not include information about preventing pregnancy, sexually

transmitted diseases, infection with HIV or AIDS through any

means other than total abstinence from sexual activity;

 

· “perfect use rate” to mean the rate of failure for a method of

contraception when that method is used by a person for each act of sexual intercourse and is used by the persons for each act according to the instructions for the method— i.e., the rate defined as the lowest expected success rate by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and

 

· “typical use rate” to mean rate of failure for a method of

contraception when that method is not used by a person for each act of sexual intercourse or when that method is not used by a person for each act according to the instructions for that method — i.e., the rate defined as the typical rate by the FDA.

 

H. B. 1842 TEXT

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/billtext/doc/HB01842H.doc

 

By:  Strama, Turner, Anchia, Gonzales, Dukes,                        H.B. No. 1842

     et al.

 

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the provision of certain services and information related to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  SHORT TITLE.  This Act may be cited as the Texas Prevention First Act.

SECTION 2.  PURPOSES AND FINDINGS.  (a)  The goal of this bill is to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in Texas.

(b)  In 2003, 51.6 percent of the 374,836 total births in Texas were paid for by Medicaid. In other words, one out of every two births in Texas is paid for by Medicaid (Source: State of Texas 1115(a) Research and Demonstration Waiver, submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by the Health and Human Services Commission, p. 9).

(c)  For the state fiscal year 2003, the Texas Department of Health, the predecessor of the Department of State Health Services, found that the state’s family planning program averted 193,502 pregnancies, for an  estimated $472 million in cost savings (Source: TMHP, Family Planning Ad Hoc Request Performance Measures 2/9/2004. Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Women’s Health).

(d)  The projections for the Women’s Health Program specifically show a cost savings of $467 million over the five-year demonstration timeline, $278 million in state savings and $189 million in federal savings, by reducing the number of Medicaid-paid births and associated costs (Source: Women’s Health Program Demonstration Budget, State of Texas 1115(1) Research and Demonstration Waiver).

(e)  In addition to averted costs, Texas receives federal dollars at the highest possible matching ratio for all Medicaid. The federal government will pay $9 for every $1 of state funds spent on family planning services and supplies (Source: Medicaid: A Critical Source of Support for Family Planning in the United States, Issue Brief, Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2005).

(f)  According to the Department of State Health Services, in 2005, a total of 102,011 sexually transmitted disease cases, excluding HIV/AIDS, were reported in Texas.  At the end of 2005, approximately 67,629 AIDS cases have been reported in Texas (Source: 2005 Texas HIV/STD Surveillance Report, Department of State Health Services).

SECTION 3.  OUTREACH CAMPAIGN.  Subchapter B, Chapter 531, Government Code, is amended by adding Section 531.093 to read as follows:

Sec. 531.093.  UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES: OUTREACH CAMPAIGN AND SERVICES PROVIDED.  (a)  To the extent money is available for the purposes provided by this section, the commission shall provide adequate and sufficient funding to conduct a comprehensive marketing and outreach campaign to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and lower the rates of sexually transmitted diseases.  The campaign must include print and broadcast media, Internet websites, and a toll-free telephone number.

(b)  The commission, the Legislative Budget Board, or the governor, in providing adequate and sufficient funding for the campaign as required by Subsection (a), may not take any action to decrease the level of programs and services designed to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and lower the rates of sexually transmitted diseases to below the level of programs and services provided on September 1, 2007.

SECTION 4.  EDUCATION.  Section 28.004, Education Code, is amended by amending Subsections (e) and (i) and adding Subsections (m) and (n) to read as follows:

(e)  Any course materials and instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome shall be selected by the board of trustees with the advice of the local school health advisory council and must:

(1)  present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age;

(2)  devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;

(3)  emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus, [or] acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;

(4)  direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, [and] infection with human immunodeficiency virus, and [or] acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and

(5)  [teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates,] if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content, teach contraception and condom use in terms of typical use rates and perfect use rates, with an emphasis on the reasons those rates differ.

(i)  Before providing human sexuality instruction to students, a [A] school district shall provide written notice to [notify] a parent of each student enrolled in the district.  The notice must include [of]:

(1)  a summary of the basic content of the district’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, with a statement informing the parent that the instruction is required by state law to:

(A)  present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age; and

(B)  devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior; [and]

(2)  a statement of whether the instruction is considered by the district to be abstinence-only instruction or comprehensive instruction, including an explanation of the difference between those types of instruction and a specific statement regarding whether the student will receive information on contraception and condom use;

(3)  if the instruction will include information on contraception and condom use, a statement that state law requires the information to be taught in terms of typical use rates and perfect use rates, with an emphasis on the reasons those rates differ;

(4)  a statement of the parent’s right to:

(A)  review curriculum materials under Subsection (j); and

(B)  remove the student from any part of the district’s human sexuality instruction, without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction; and

(5)  information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of curriculum to be used in the instruction, including information regarding the council established under Subsection (a).

(m)  The board procedure adopted under Section 26.011 applies to a complaint filed regarding a right guaranteed by this section.

(n)  In this section:

(1)  ”Abstinence-only instruction” means instruction that does not include information about preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome through any means other than total abstinence from sexual activity.

(2)  ”Perfect use rate” means the rate of failure for a method of contraception when that method is used by a person for each act of sexual intercourse and is used by the person for each act according to the instructions for the method.  The rate is identical to the rate defined as the lowest expected success rate by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

(3)  ”Typical use rate” means the rate of failure for a method of contraception when that method is not used by a person for each act of sexual intercourse or when that method is not used by a person for each act according to the instructions for that method.   The rate is identical to the rate defined as the typical use rate by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

SECTION 5.  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

 

 

LINK TO H. B. 1842 AUTHORS AND CO-AUTHORS

 

Rep. Joe Straus was the co-author of H. B. 1842 in the 80th Regular Session of the Legislature. Here is the link:

 

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Authors.aspx?LegSess=80R&Bill=HB1842

 

============================================================

 

BILL ANALYSIS OF H. B. 1842

 

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/80R/analysis/doc/HB01842H.doc

 

 

 

BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

                                                                                                                                            H.B. 1842

                                                                                                                                           By: Strama

                                                                                                                                         State Affairs

                                                                                                          Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

The Texas Prevention First Act aims to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions and curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by expanding outreach for family planning services, ensuring accurate and effective sex education in public schools, and keeping parents fully informed about the content of their child’s sex education instruction.

 

The 79th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 747 creating the Womens Health Program, a five-year Medicaid waiver program that allows women between 18 and 44 years of age and up to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level to access family planning services.  These include: well-woman exams (pap smears), FDA-approved contraceptive methods and counseling, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and anemia.  This program is highly cost-effective for the state of Texas.  The federal government will match Texas investment in this program at a 90/10 ratio.  In other words, for every $1 that the state spends, the federal government will pay an additional $9.  In addition, by giving more women access to family planning services, the state of Texas will avert significant health care costs for public programs.  The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) estimates that it costs $170 for a year of family planning care for a woman (includes a pap smear and a year of contraception).  In contrast, the first year of a Medicaid-funded pregnancy is nearly $8,500.  One out of every two births in Texas is paid for through the Medicaid program.

 

According to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Womens Health Program is projected to save the state of Texas $278 million over the five-year demonstration timeline and save the federal government an additional $189 million.  Nineteen other states that have similar Medicaid waiver programs have shown significant cost savings to both their state governments and to the federal government.  The state of Texas is only slated to spend $25,000 per year on outreach on this program, with the federal government contributing only another $25,000.  House Bill 1842 directs the HHSC to conduct an outreach campaign employing print and broadcast media, the internet, and a toll-free hotline to increase participation in the Womens Health Program.

 

Current Texas law requires that contraceptive use, if it is taught, must be taught in terms of human use reality rates as opposed to theoretical laboratory rates.  Neither of these rates is defined in statute, nor do they have commonly cited sources in the field of public health.  Current Texas law also requires school districts to notify parents of the content of sex education classes and the parent’s right to remove their child from any part of the class.  The law does not specify any requirements as to the content of the notification.  H.B. 1842 clarifies the distinction between the theoretical and practical effectiveness of contraception, and increases the information disclosed to parents about the contents of their schools sex education curriculum.

 

H.B. 1842 does not require schools to teach comprehensive sex education, but rather requires schools to fully inform parents about the specific content of sex education instruction.  In addition, H.B. 1842 does not change a parent’s existing right to opt their child out of a sex education class.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee&rsquo

Comments


  1. Anonymous

    you are a nut.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECv31jOdx0Y

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November 29th, 2010

Donna Garner EducationNews Policy Commentator

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