Texas Minors Need Parental Approval for Birth Control

Minors in Texas who used to be able to obtain birth control through Title X, a program to provide it free and confidentially, now must obtain their parents' permission

Texas Minors Need Parental Approval for Birth Control
Image credit: The Texas Tribune

Facts

  • Minors in Texas who used to be able to obtain birth control through Title X, a program to provide it free and confidentially, now must obtain their parents' permission while Every Body Texas, the state's Title X administrator, awaits further guidance from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • This follows last month’s ruling by US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk that Title X violates parental rights and state and federal law.
  • The suit was brought by Alexander Deanda, a father of three, and was argued by Jonathan Mitchell, a former Texas solicitor general who wrote the state’s six-week abortion ban. Deanda claimed Title X prevents parents from raising children in accordance with a family’s religious beliefs.
  • Kacsmaryk ruled that the US Dept. of Health and Human Services' running of Title X ran counter to Deanda’s parental rights under state and federal law and violated the father’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  • Pro-choice organizations, including Planned Parenthood and the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, objected to the decision, arguing that it violates a Constitutional right to contraception and will “block a critical pathway to essential health services for young people.”

Sources: Texas Tribune, FOX News, Bloomberg Law, and Daily Wire.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by Jurist. Under the pretense of protecting minors, Title X impales a political wedge between families, undermining parents' rights to direct the upbringing of their children. The government has no compelling authority to subvert parents and their right to consent, which is just as important as the reproductive health of the minor in question.
  • Left narrative, as provided by Jezebel. There are seemingly no limits to how far Texas officials are willing to go in their assault on reproductive care. With tight abortion restrictions in the state, Title X is an essential source of birth control, and without it, there's no telling the repercussions minors will face.