Tie-breaker in Senate on teen contraception bill
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Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s bill permitting teen mothers to get contraception without parental consent to reduce repeat teen pregnancies produced a tie-breaker on an amendment by Dan Patrick which required notification of parents for those teens still living at home. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was summoned to break the tie, but it was resolved in Patrick’s favor before he arrived. Sen. Kip Averitt returned from the House and cast the deciding vote. (I’m told he joked that he wished he had stayed in the House.) Sen. Steve Ogden argued that Van de Putte’s bill “makes it easier for statutory rapists to get away with it.” Van De Putte argued that if a young girl has already given birth, no one should be surprised that she is sexually active. Van de Putte noted that Texas leads the nation in repeat teen pregnancies, and noted that poorly-spaced pregnancies often produce low birth-weight infants. “I’m trying to reduce the number of abortions and the number of babies in our neo-natal care unit,” she argued. The bill passed to engrossment.