Texas Birth Control Laws for Teens

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Over the last few decades in the United States, minors (someone who is age 12 or older) have progressively been given the right to consent to their own reproductive health care, among other areas of health care.

The primary reason that this has happened is because of the reality that if minors have to involve their parents in some aspects of their private lives, they will choose not to get the help they may need over having to bring their parents into it.

Currently, 26 states plus the District of Columbia allow minors to consent to their own contraceptive services, while at least 4 states (North Dakota, Wisconson, Rhode Island and Ohio) have nothing on the books at all about consent and contraception. Another 20 states however, are much more Draconian about the issue, granting restricted consent.

Among that last group is the state of Texas, one of the toughest in the nation when it comes to granting consent to minors with regard to their own health care decisions.

Purchasing Birth Control

Parental consent is not required in Texas or in any state in the Union for a teenager to buy non-prescription, over the counter birth control. Nor do any teens need any parental consent to receive information about contraceptives.

Furthermore, no state including Texas actually makes it illegal or explicitly prohibits teens (technically minors) from receiving prescription contraceptives.

However, Texas is one of two states that does not allow state funds to be used to provide contraceptives to minors without parental consent.

To be more specific about it, teens or minors in Texas need parental consent for contraceptives if it is funded by:

  • Title V (Maternal & Child Health)
  • Title XX (Social Services)

They do not need parental consent for contraceptives if it is funded by:

  • Medicaid
  • Title X (or X and XX)

Constitutional Crisis

Despite Texas state statutes, the Supreme Court has ruled that US citizens have a constitutionally protected right to privacy that extends to both adults and minors with regard to making contraceptive decisions.


 
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