Giving birth control pills from clinics in Texas now requires parental approval

Birth control pills will no longer be provided to teens at clinics that receive federal funding through Title X. A North Texas federal judge ruled in December that the program violates Texas law and parents’ rights. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has asked the court to reconsider its decision.

The Title X program has provided free, confidential contraception to anyone, regardless of someone’s age, income or immigration status. Also, Title X was one of the only ways teens in Texas could obtain birth control without any parental consent (Texas Law help org, 2022).

Texas’ Title X administrator has advised its 156 clinics to require parental consent for minors now. The decision is out of an abundance of caution as it awaits further guidance from HHS. Although, minors can still access other services like testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy tests, and emergency contraception.

The program was created during the Nixon administration to provide family planning services to low-income women. However, federal regulations stated that they should have parental approval or should inform the parents that a minor has received services.

A Texas judge has ruled that the federal government’s Title X program violates the rights of a father who is raising his three daughters in accordance with Christian values. The case was brought by former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell, who masterminded the state’s abortion ban. Neither the father or his daughters have sought services at a Title X clinic, per the complaint.