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Federal Law Calls For Enforcement of Statutory Rape Laws
Sec. 14016. Enforcement of statutory rape laws
(a) Sense of Senate
It is the sense of the Senate that States and local jurisdictions should aggressively
enforce statutory rape laws.
(b) Justice Department program on statutory rape
Not later than January 1, 1997, the Attorney General shall establish and implement a
program that -
(1) studies the linkage between statutory rape and teenage
pregnancy, particularly by predatory older men committing repeat
(2) educates State and local criminal law enforcement officials
on the prevention and prosecution of statutory rape, focusing in
particular on the commission of statutory rape by predatory older
men committing repeat offenses, and any links to teenage
(c) Violence against women initiative
The Attorney General shall ensure that the Department of Justice's Violence Against Women
initiative addresses the
issue of statutory rape, particularly the commission of statutory rape by predatory older
men committing repeat offenses.
Issues in Statutory Rape Law Enforcement: The Views of District Attorneys in
By Henry L. Miller, Corinne E. Miller, Linda Kenney and James W. Clark
Permanent Archive from: (http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/3017798summ.html)
Context: The 1996 federal welfare reform law calls for the reduction of adolescent
pregnancy rates through
aggressive enforcement of statutory rape laws at the local and state level.
Yet there are few quantitative data on district attorneys' attitudes toward
enforcement and related issues.
Methods: Anonymous surveys were mailed to all 105 Kansas district attorneys in 1997; 92
returned. In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with seven of the attorneys.
Results: Most of the respondents (74%) favored aggressive enforcement, but just 37%
believed the public
would support aggressive enforcement. Only 24% believed enforcement would reduce
Fifty-seven percent supported the current legal age of consent in Kansas (16 years).
Fifty-three percent thought
the law should not specify age differences between the partners. Most (77%) believed the
law should protect
sexually active minors, and that paternity acknowledgments should be admissible evidence
(78%). Only 17% believed that enforcement would discourage adolescents from seeking health
Conclusions: The potential impact of statutory rape prosecution on reproductive and
should be considered in each case. Educating law enforcement officials about adolescent
health care issues
and encouraging them to consult with professionals in health and psychological fields may
help to minimize the
potentially negative effects of enforcement on adolescents' reproductive health.
PERMANENT ARCHIVE TO PREVENT LOSS OF NEWS ARTICLE
Family Values: Even though they are married, 17-year-old Delia Lopez and 22-year-old Juan
Jiminez and their baby son found
themselves in court after a doctor reported them to authorities.
A state-funded crackdown on teen sex is quadrupling statutory rape cases in Santa Clara
hundreds of young fathers to trial. Researchers say that in this latest crime du jour, the
skewed the data to support a political agenda.
By Jim Rendon
SEATED IN THE BACK row of a courtroom in the basement of the Santa Clara County
courthouse, a young
couple talks quietly while waiting for the judge to arrive. A blue baby stroller packed
with blankets rests next to them.
As they talk, they take turns holding a tiny child, discernible only by his shock of
thick, dark hair.
These young people are in court because their very existence as a couple violates the law.
Juan Jose Jiminez is 22.
His wife, Luz Delia Lopez, is 17. Jiminez was arrested for having consensual sex with
Lopez before they were married. The
crime was statutory rape, sex with a minor. If he is convicted of the felony charge, he
could spend six months or more in the county jail and get slapped with years of probation.
The county has pursued the case against Jiminez even though his wife never filed a
complaint. There was no violence in the relationship. At the time of the arrest, the two
were living together with Lopez's parents, who consented to the
relationship. Over the objections of everyone involved, Jiminez was arrested and spent 23
days in jail. After a number of court
appearances, he has decided to plead guilty to a misdemeanor rather than risk the
possibility of a felony conviction.
"If he fought it, he could get a dismissal, but he would be playing with fire,"
says Molly O'Neal, the deputy public defender representing Jiminez.
Though Jiminez and Lopez are doing nothing more than pursuing a relationship, starting a
family and trying their best to get by, they have found themselves at the center of a hot
issue in California and in Santa Clara County, where state-funded bus placards and radio
announcements threaten menacingly: Have sex with a teen; go to jail.
Though California's statutory rape laws languished on the books for decades, they are the
linchpin of a new three-year, $76-million effort by Gov. Pete Wilson's justice department.
The Wilson administration claims this will curb
teen pregnancy, reduce billions in state and federal welfare payments to teen mothers and
lock up "predatory" older fathers who impregnate teenage girls and abandon them,
even though statistics show that this occurs in less than 8 percent of all cases.
Critics say the plan is nothing but a political ploy to condition young people to say no
to sex rather than use birth-control clinics, pointing out that grown men who impregnate
teens create only a small percentage of the state's 63,000 teen pregnancy cases.
In response, the state is spending $56 million over three years on community programs that
address teen and unwed pregnancy, $11.6 million on mentoring programs for young men, and
$8.4 million a year on the prosecution of cases like Jiminez's.
In a 1995 pilot project, 14 counties received grant money to dedicate a team--attorney,
investigator and paralegal--to handle statutory rape cases. Two years later, 52 of
California's 58 counties are receiving the special funding. Santa Clara was one of the
first counties to get the grant and has kept going back to the till to fund what is the
state's most aggressive prosecution program. This year the county received $275,000 to
prosecute the crime, and it will receive another installment next year.
Though this sum is a drop in the bucket for a DA's office that spends $34.7 million a year
on criminal prosecutions, it can now put two full-time attorneys, one full-time and one
half-time investigator and a paralegal on the statutory rape beat. Rather than a
traditional setup whereby one attorney handles specific parts of each case, the grant
allows a prosecutor and an investigator to follow each case from start to finish, which
results in higher conviction rates.
Jo Anne McCracken, the deputy district attorney who heads Santa Clara County's program,
says that prior to getting the grant, her office prosecuted 35 statutory rape cases a
year. Since receiving additional funding in February 1996, the county has handled 280
This leap in prosecutions here and in counties around the state is due mostly to the
strong push from the governor's office to dust off the law books and get offenders behind
bars. That initiative, which reached its highest level of funding this year, was sold to
the legislature with the help of one very disturbing statistic. Anyone involved in the
governor's push to end teen
pregnancy is quick to throw that number out up front. It is meant to grab and shock and
garner support for Wilson's punitive approach: two-thirds of all teen pregnancies
are caused by men over 20.
This is a troubling statistic for anyone worried about what their daughter is doing after
dark, or for deficit hawks who see teen pregnancy as the gateway to multibillion-dollar
welfare expenses. But that number reveals little about statutory rape and has been misused
by those trying to push everything from abstinence to putting more people behind bars,
says Susan Tew, a
spokeswoman for the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the organization that first published that
THE FIGURE FIRST appeared in "Family Planning Perspectives," published by the
Guttmacher Institute. When researchers
conducted the study, they were interested in teen pregnancy itself, not who was having sex
with minors. Using a national database, the group studied teenagers through age 19 who
gave birth. They found that most teen pregnancies were the result of sex with a man over
age 20. But the majority of teens who gave birth were between 18 and 19 years old. And the
study did not look at age differences between the men and girls, usually a requirement for
prosecution. Because of the broad focus, this study revealed nothing about statutory rape.
Despite the study's focus on overall teen pregnancy, the buzz about statutory rape
was soon out of control, Tew says. Once the fudged statistic appeared in a New York Times
article, the term "predator" was on everyone's lips. "This is a study in
what happens when people look for data to substantiate a problem that they think exists.
It is frustrating to see what happens and to try to reel it back in," she says.
In an effort to curb the misuse of its findings, the institute published another study in
March of this year. This time researchers used the same data as the first study but weeded
out the 18- and 19-year-olds. Since many states require a minimum age difference between
the partners for prosecution (Santa Clara County only prosecutes if there is more than a
difference; Florida only prosecutes if there is more than a seven-year age difference),
the group looked for unmarried couples where the men were five or more years older than
the girls. The results were dramatically different than the first study's. The researchers
found that statutory rape by this definition was responsible for only 8 percent of teenage
births. And with
similar criteria applied to 13- and 14-year-olds, researchers found that they accounted
for less than 3 percent of all teen births.
"This can be seen as an area for serious concern," says Leighton Ku, a senior
research associate at the Urban Institute who co-authored the study, "but not
anything that is a major responsibility for teen pregnancy."
Nonetheless, California was off and running, aggressively prosecuting hundreds of cases a
year as a means of attacking the teen pregnancy problem. In conjunction with locking
people up, the state and some counties also have produced ads to warn men away from
teenage girls. Earlier this year, McCracken's office bought space on the side of buses for
placards that read, "Sex with a teen will land you in jail. We prosecute statutory
rape." The state has bought both radio and television time and is running ads in both
English and Spanish. One TV ad reads:
"A truth about sex." A young man speaks: "The judge does not care who I am.
The jury does not care who I am. They only now I got myself involved with a 16-year-old
girl. And now I am a rapist. A statutory rapist.' I had never heard those
words!" The announcer fades in: "Listen to this: Having sexual relations with a
minor under the age of 18 is called statutory rape. And you will go to jail. This is a
truth about sex."
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN teen pregnancy and statutory rape, and the improbability of
affecting one by prosecuting the
other, seems to be lost on those who support the governor's program. Lisa Kalustian,
spokeswoman for Gov. Wilson, is unfazed by the distinction or the radically different
findings of the most recent study published by the Guttmacher Institute. "Laws on the
books need to be enforced," she says. "Beefing up enforcement has a strong
deterrent effect. We are sending a strong message that this behavior will not be
That robotic "lock 'em up" message from Sacramento is trickling down to nearly
every county in the state through the special grants for prosecuting this
flavor-of-the-month crime. McCracken, who has made a career of taking on more
traditionally prosecuted sex crimes like rape and child molestation, says that her program
provides support for teen girls in manipulative relationships who need someone to stand up
for them. "The vast majority of cases are not young couples in love where he supports
the child," she cautions. "In most of the cases, he has kicked her in the
stomach, there is domestic violence, he is not supporting the child or he is supplying the
girl with drugs."
Like those at the state level, McCracken paints a frightening picture of a predatory older
man who takes advantage of teenage girls with low self-esteem, knocking them up, beating
them up and leaving them for the social service agency to deal with. She says the average
age of those who stand trial for statutory rape in the county is between 20 and 24, and
the majority of girls
are 14 or 15 years old.
But from statistics provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, it
appears that statutory rape is hardly rampant among teens who give birth in this county.
Of a total of nearly 26,000 births in 1995, only 2,200 involved teenage mothers. Of those,
1,300 were 18- and 19-year-olds. That leaves 944 teen births in which the mother was under
the majority of those births, the county had information about the age of the father. It
turns out that statutory rape, among teenagers giving birth in Santa Clara County, is a
small problem. Only 18 percent of teen births were the result of
sex by a couple in which the man was more than three years older than the girl. This
includes couples who, like Jiminez and Lopez, were married at the time their child
was born. As for McCracken's main problem group, men between 20 and 24 and girls between
14 and 15, only 47 births in the county in 1995 were from couples who fit this
description--2 percent of all
teen births. Such numbers which might be better handled by regular prosecution channels at
the district attorney's office, instead of by a state-funded push to put more people in
Of those McCracken's team does put behind bars, more than 20 percent are under age 20, and
one-third of the girls on whose behalf McCracken prosecutes are age 16 or 17.
When asked about the second study published by the Guttmacher Institute, McCracken says
that she finds it hard to believe, that those less inflammatory numbers do not mesh with
her own experience. But, she admits, the cases she sees are often those in which there are
problems, because of either an abusive boyfriend or a disapproving parent. Jana
Cunningham, with Planned Parenthood in San Jose, who sees a broader cross-section of
sexually active teenage girls, says that the small percentage of statutory rape found by
the second Guttmacher Institute study seems far more realistic than the numbers the state
And age difference alone, she points out, does not necessarily create an abusive,
manipulative relationship. Jiminez, who is five years older than his wife, is doing his
best to make things work. Looking into his eyes, it is hard to see him as a predator. He
is quiet, polite and a whiz at quieting down two-month-old Juan Angel.
O'Neal, his attorney, who handles felonies when they are first assigned to the public
defender's office, says that cases like Jiminez's are common. "I get one case a week
which I don't know why is in court. The couple is happily together. He is working and
supporting the child, they intend to be married and live with the girl's parents.
"What purpose does this serve?" she asks. "It just clogs up the courts with
cases where no one is punished."
Indeed, when Jiminez offers a plea of no contest, there is no punishment. He is sentenced
to time already served and sent on his way. Even the fees to a victim restitution fund and
to the county are waived. "Spend the money on your child," says Judge James
Emerson before moving on to the next case.
Despite the time, money and energy put into prosecuting these cases, there is no evidence
that arresting these men, putting them before a judge and hanging the specter of real jail
and even prison time in front of them will have any effect on teen pregnancy. California
is one of the first states to try this approach, and no one in Sacramento could point to
any state or country that had successfully curbed teen pregnancy via prosecution.
"There is no analysis that says enforcement of statutory-rape law as a
means of lowering teen pregnancy rates will have any effect," Tew says.
Gabriella Castellon, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood in Sacramento, believes that
enforcement is wrong-headed. "We should spend more money on education and less on
prisons," she says. "We need to educate young people so they don't pursue
unfit relationships, rather than waiting until they commit a crime."
For Castellon and others in the family-planning business, education is the key. Sixty
percent of all women, regardless of age group, become pregnant unintentionally. Castellon
says what is needed is more programs like the ones Planned Parenthood already runs that
work with young men in high school and the California Youth Authority. "These are
programs in which peers
educate peers about the importance of male responsibility. We talk to young men about the
importance of not having sex with underage girls and about protecting themselves and
others from sexually transmitted diseases and not impregnating someone. These are programs
with a positive focus," she says. Other Planned Parenthood programs provide support
for teenage girls with and without babies. Though Planned Parenthood is hoping to receive
additional funding from the governor's program
to address teen pregnancy, the organization has yet to see grants come its way.
DESPITE THE DEARTH of funding and the controversy that always surrounds sex education
programs, especially those that provide information about abortion, there is evidence that
the educational approach taken by some schools, governments and community groups is
already working. "I am optimistic; things are getting better," researcher Ku
optimism is well-founded in the numbers, which have been looking up for some time.
Years before California began throwing people in jail for having sex with minors, teenage
pregnancy rates were falling. The rate nationally and in California has dropped steadily
since 1991. And though California's overall rate is still above the national average, it's
falling faster than rates in the rest of the country. Even Santa Clara County's pregnancy
rate is below the state
average. According to the state Department of Health Services, last year Santa Clara
County teens age 15 through 19 gave birth to 2,137 children, down from 2,204 in 1995.
Despite the drop in pregnancy rates, the number of reported cases of statutory rape in the
county has increased many times over. McCracken says that before receiving the grant
money, her office never turned any cases away but only saw about 35 a year. Since
receiving the grant, the county has been involved in outreach programs: participating in
workshops with schools and police, giving lectures to young men and running public service
ads. With more awareness at every level, she says, "cases
started to pour in. A lot of people had no idea that they could do anything about
According to McCracken, cases arrive on her desk through many avenues, including parents
who are concerned about their daughter's relationship, police checking domestic
violence calls and even doctors who report on their patients.
When Jiminez's case found its way to the district attorney's office, both he and Lopez
felt betrayed. Lopez's doctor at Kaiser Permanente's Santa Teresa hospital turned
her in after a visit when she was two months pregnant. Within a week the couple
received a call from the police department. Though the officers assured them that charges
would not be pressed, a few
months later Jiminez was picked up and charged with statutory rape.
McCracken says that health-care providers are required by law to report any
instance where a minor has been sexually active with a significantly older man.
"We have a legal responsibility to report, but we don't report without a thorough
investigation," says Kaiser spokeswoman Kathleen Roberts.
Right now, there is some leeway in reporting, but starting in January, the
doctor's discretion will be further curtailed. Next year, if a physician sees a case where
there is a sexual relationship between a man over 21 and a girl under 16, he or she will
be required to report the case.
Chances are that more cases like Jiminez's will land in court with the implementation of
this new law. With more physician reporting, additional cases where there was no call for
intervention because of violence or parental concern will find their way to McCracken's
desk. And more young couples will find themselves before a judge trying to explain why
they are involved with each other.
After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sex with a minor, Jiminez walks the
length of the courtroom back to where his family waits. He and Lopez gather up their son
and push the baby carriage out into the hallway. The experience, says Lopez, has been
frustrating and scary. "Loving somebody," she says, "is not a crime."
The Politics Of Teen Sex Back to Briefing Topics
How the Data - And Its "Spin" - Shape Policy and Programs
January 19, 1999
WHAT'S BEEN SHOWN TO WORK IN DELAYING TEEN SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND
IMPROVING CONTRACEPTIVE USE?
In 1997, Douglas Kirby, Ph.D., an expert on evaluation research and a member of the
Research Task Force of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, reviewed the
research on three types of sexuality education programs: abstinence-only programs,
programs that teach
abstinence plus other sexual health topics like contraception and safer sex, and programs
that focus only
on HW/AIDS and/or STDs. He concluded that although many programs have been created to help
prevent teen pregnancy, few have been carefully evaluated using an experimental design, a
sample size and other important methodological standards.
Kirby's review of the research concludes:
None of the evaluations-whether of sexuality or AIDS education programs, or school-based
or condom availability programs-demonstrated an increase in teen sexual activity.
Some evaluations of abstinence-plus-safer-sex or AIDS education programs showed positive
results, such as increased knowledge, a delay in onset of sex, or increased condom use.
most of these effects were measured only over the short term, and not all of the programs
consistently produced these results.
A few studies indicate that two alternative programs may be effective at increasing
use and decreasing pregnancy rates: multi-component programs, which combine an educational
program with providing contraceptives, and community-wide programs, which give a clear
about avoiding pregnancy and STDs and also expand access to contraceptives.
Finally, a few studies indicate that youth development programs, or programs designed to
life skills or life options, may decrease teen pregnancy and birth rates.
Kirby's review also examined the impact of abstinence-only programs on sexual and
behavior. None of six published studies of abstinence-only programs showed a consistent
effect on delaying teens' onset of intercourse, although he notes that many of these
programs also have
not been adequately evaluated.
Recently John Jemmott, et al. (1998) conducted the first randomized, controlled trial
abstinence-only vs. abstinence-plus-safer-sex education, published in the Journal of the
Medical Association. Adolescents in Philadelphia were ~andomiy assigned to an
intervention, an abstinence-plus-safer-sex intervention or a control group receiving a
intervention that did not deal with sexuality or AIDS. Participants were followed up 3, 6,
and 12 months
after the intervention.
Abstinence-only participants were less likely to report having sexual intercourse at 3
months, but not at 6
or 12 months. Abstinence-plus-safer-sex participants reported significantly more
consistent condom use
than control group participants at 3 months and a higher frequency of condom use at all
follow-ups. Of the
sexually-active adolescents at the beginning of the study, the abstinence-p lus-safer-sex
reported less sexual intercourse in the previous 3 months and at the 6- and 12-month
follow-ups than did
the control and abstinence-only participants, and less unprotected intercourse at all
follow-ups than did
the controls. The authors conclude that while both abstinence-only and
programs can reduce HW risk behavior, the effects of abstinence-plus-safer-sex programs
may be longer
lasting and particularly effective with sexually experienced adolescents.
WHAT IS THE COST EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE
SERVICES FOR TEENS?
Publicly funded family planning clinics are an important source of contraceptive services
teenagers. Three in 10 of the clients receiving these services are younger than 20,
according to an
analysis by The Alan Guttmacher Institute.
Eight in 10 of the nearly one million pregnancies to teenagers each year-about 61
Without publicly funded contraceptive services, an additional 386,000 teenagers would
each year. Of these, 155,000 would give birth, increasing the number of teen births by
under 50,000 of these pregnancies are estimated to end in miscarriage. And, a total of
would have abortions, increasing the number of teenage abortions each year by 58%.
Because a large percentage of the young women obtaining publicly funded contraceptive
Medicaid recipients or would become eligible if they became pregnant, every public dollar
contraception saves $3 that would otherwise have to be spent for pregnancy-related and
Further findings that teenage contraceptive use saves health dollars emerged from a 1997
examining the costs of obtaining and using any of 11 contraceptive methods (alone or in
another method) appropriate for teenagers, treating any associated side effects, providing
related to unintended pregnancies during method use, and treating sexually transmitted
concluded that the average annual cost per adolescent at risk of unintended pregnancy who
method is $1,267 in the private sector or $677 in the public sector, under the most
calculated. The findings suggest that providing coverage for contraceptives, and thus
use among sexually active teenagers, is an important cost-effective component of the
national strategy to
prevent unintended teen pregnancies.
WHAT ARE STATES' LAWS ON SEX EDUCATION?
Nineteen states plus the District of Columbia mandate that schools provide sex education,
but the scope
and nature of these programs vary significantly. Ten states require that sex education
but do not require the inclusion of information about contraception. Thirteen states
require that sex
education teach abstinence and provide information about contraception.
As part of the welfare reform law enacted in August 1996, funds are available to all 50
states and the
District of Columbia to establish programs that have as their exclusive purpose the
abstinence for people who are not married. The new abstinence-only education effort, being
by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, allocates $50 million annually for five years,
beginning in FY
1998. States are required to match every $4 in federal funds with $3 in state funds,
bringing the total
public dollars to be expended each year to $87.5 million.
The welfare reform law and regulations include detailed instructions to the states on what
can and cannot
be supported through the program. For example, abstinence education funded under Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families cannot include any information about contraception and cannot
be used to
fund portions of more comprehensive sexuality education efforts. Grantees must teach that
activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF STATES' USE OF THE FEDERAL ABSTINENCE-ONLY
All 50 states have applied for and accepted the abstinence-only funds. According to
a review of state
abstinence-only applications by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
· 32 states plan media campaigns,
· 40 states plan to make grants to youth and community-based organizations,
· 34 states plan to make grants for school-based programs, 21 states plan to make grants
health departments, and
27 states plan to partner with other entities, agencies, and other organizations including
education agencies and statewide task forces on teen pregnancy.
SIECUS reports that the target ages for states' abstinence-only programs are:
· 20 states target below age 14,
· 4 states target below age 17,
· 7 states target below age 19,
· 1 state targets ages 20-24, and
· 1 state targets ages 20-25.
HOW MANY STATES HAVE STATUTORY RAPE LAWS?
Statutory rape laws, laws that prohibit sexual intercourse with a minor, have existed for
a long time.
Originally, these laws were passed to protect "chaste" young women; however,
most laws today are
gender-neutral and no longer require the minor to be a virgin. According to a 1997 report
by the American
Bar Association (ABA), which reviewed the status of statutory rape laws in the U.S. today,
all 50 states
have laws establishing the legal age of consent for sexual intercourse, though that age
varies from state
to state. In general, these laws make sexual intercourse between a 10-15 year old girl and
a man 20 years
old or older a felony or misdemeanor. The likelihood of prosecution can vary by the
difference in age
between the adult and the minor. Recent trends in statutory rape laws include raising the
legal age of
consent from 14, 15 or 16 years old to 18 and establishing more serious charges when the
is very young (14 or 15 years old or younger).
Since 1995, the state of California has been one state that has stepped up enforcement of
laws by allocating $8.4 million a year to counties for prosecution of such cases. Between
and June 1997, 1,454 adults were convicted of having sexual intercourse with minors,
according to the
California Office of Criminal Justice Planning. The statutory rape prosecution funds are
California's larger teen pregnancy prevention initiative, the Partnership for Responsible
another component of the initiative, the California Department of Health Services has
multimillion dollar advertising campaign with the message that "Sex with a minor is a
DO ANY STATES HAVE LAWS MANDATING PARENTAL CONSENT BEFORE
PROVIDING CONTRACEPTION TO TEENS?
Currently, no federal laws and only one state law mandate parental involvement or
permission for a minor
to obtain contraceptive or STD services. In fact, the trend over the last three decades
has been toward
expanding teenagers' authority to make health care decisions for themselves, with the
seeking an abortion. (Twenty-nine states have laws mandating parental consent or
notification before a
minor may obtain an abortion.)
As of September 1997, 23 states and the District of Columbia have laws that explicitly
give minors the
authority to consent to contraceptive services; 49 states and the District of Columbia
have laws allowing
minors to consent to STD diagnosis and treatment. Texas is the only state with a provision
parental consent for contraceptive or STD services. Approved in early 1997, the measure
use of state family planning funds to provide prescription drugs such as contraceptives or
treating sexually transmitted diseases to minors without parental consent. A state court
held the measure
unconstitutional in August 1997, but is being appealed to the Texas Supreme Court at the
request of Gov.
George Bush. At the federal level, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly rejected a
involvement amendment to the federal Title X family planning program legislation in late
that proposal, clinics receiving those funds would have had to notify a parent at least
five days prior to
providing contraception to a minor.