A federal judge in Texas has ruled against a program allowing teens to access birth control without parental permission, throwing its future into doubt.
James Barragán, politics reporter for The Texas Tribune, says under the federal Title X program, “for the longest time … if you were a teen who was sexually active, you didn’t need parental permission to go and have access.” But in late December, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled against that arrangement, “because it’s violating parental rights. … And so this could really change the game here.” In the wake of the decision, Title X clinics in Texas have stopped providing birth control medication to teens confidentially.
Barragán notes that the decision is under federal appeal. Should that ruling stand, he says it “obviously could have a lot of ramifications – particularly in a state where our teen pregnancy rate is very, very high.”
For more stories from the week in Texas politics, including President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to El Paso, a Texas court’s ruling on teens and birth control, and the Texas ties to the House speaker drama in D.C., listen to our conversation in the audio player above.