Texas lawmaker files bill to bring birth control to public high schools

AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) -- A Texas state lawmaker is filing legislation to make birth control available in public high schools with parental consent.

Rep. Donna Howard, a Democrat who represents District 48, said the goal of her proposed law is to cut down on unintended teenage pregnancies and abortions. The contraceptives offered would be similar to IUDs.

"What can we do to make a big dent in that, it seems like having a pilot program is a good place to start," Howard said of Texas' teenage birth rate, which is the fourth highest in the country, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Howard's bill is similar to legislation that was recently passed in Colorado, where the birth rate and abortion rates have nearly halved since 2009.

Opponents of the bill fear that it would encourage teenagers to have sex.

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