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Texas teens need parental consent when seeking birth control at certain federally funded clinics

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in December Title X violates state law and parents' rights.

SAN ANTONIO — Title X-funded clinics now require Texas teens to seek parental consent before receiving birth control services.

The decision comes after a U.S. District Court ruled in December the Title X program violates parental rights and state law.

Organizations such as Jane’s Due Process have kept their phone lines open ever since the overturning of Roe v. Wade but are limited in what services can be provided when it comes to abortion.

Jane’s Due Process provides case management for Texas adolescents obtaining judicial bypass and supports the fight for teenagers’ rights to reproductive rights.

“We run a hot line that thousands of teenagers call and text every single year in Texas and 90 % of the texts we get are about birth control,” said Rosann Mariappuran, who at the time of the interview, was still executive director of Jane’s Due Process. Her last day was Jan. 13. 

Mariappuran calls the judge’s ruling a devastating blow to reproductive rights of adolescents across the Lone Star State. 

“I think a lot of youth do involve a parent if they can do it safely so if they need birth control they try to talk to their family about it, but for youth who can’t and who need access to birth control, Title 10 was their only option," Mariappuran said. 

Every Body Texas is the organization that administers federal funds for 156 Title X clinics statewide. 

The organization disagrees with the judge’s ruling on birth control access but has required its network of clinics to mandate parental consent for prescription-based contraceptives.  

“We want nothing more than to rescind our guidance, for our providers to be able to continue providing the trusted care they always have, and for all Texas teens to have the right to make their own reproductive life decisions,” said Stephanie LeBleu, Acting title X Project Director for Every Body Texas. “Every Body Texas will continue to support its Title X funded clinics and the young people they serve to the best of our ability.” 

The judge’s decision does not apply to those under 18 needing confidential access to emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests and tests for sexually transmitted diseases.  


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