Senate OKs bill allowing teen contraceptives

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Certain unmarried teen mothers could get contraceptives without the consent of their parents under a bill that has been approved by the Texas Senate. But thanks to a hotly debated amendment by Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican from Houston, the parents or guardians of the teen mother would still be informed that the contraceptives were provided.

The bill, which applies to mothers aged 16 and up, passed on a preliminary 19-9 vote today after a series of heated exchanges on the Senate floor. Proponent said Texas has a high rate of repeat teen pregnancies, while critics said the legislation would encourage bad behavior and cut parents out of an important health decision.

The teen contraceptive bill is SB592