State Representative Ana-Maria Ramos Introduces the My Body, My Future Bill to Expand Youth Access to Birth Control in Texas
State Representative Ana-Maria Ramos (HD 102) has filed the My Body, My Future Bill, HB 3369, to allow young people under the age of 18 in Texas to be able to consent to birth control in Texas. This bill is the first effort to repeal the parental consent requirement for birth control that was passed in 1998. Jane’s Due Process, a statewide organization that helps young people confidentially access reproductive health care, is proud to support this effort to expand youth access to birth control.
Following this announcement, Representative Ramos issued the following statement: “It is my job to defend our communities, especially vulnerable young people who have been misrepresented, and undermined session after session. The ‘My Body, My Future’ Bill is a sign of hope for the state legislature to listen to young people, and provide the necessary changes to allow them to be able to make their own choices on their bodies. We know that providing contraception allows young people to make healthy decisions. We have the opportunity to change lives for the better.”
With the passage of HB 3369, Texas will join the twenty seven states and the District of Columbia, which all allow people under the age of 18 to consent to their own birth control use. Research shows that requiring parental consent for birth control does not decrease sexual activity. Instead, it often causes teens to not use birth control and fail to obtain other reproductive health services.
“I’m excited for this groundbreaking bill because when I was 16 and trying to navigate health systems independent of my parents, even for things as simple as a sports physical, I encountered many barriers,” said CoWanda Rusk, Jane’s Due Process Advocacy Fellow. “I believe we all deserve agency to access healthcare, especially when our parents can’t or won’t support us. This bill proves Texas is ready to trust and listen to young people especially when it concerns their personal wellness. I know this is only one step to changing the power dynamic that exists between adults and young people, but it’s a bold and important one if enacted into law.”
In 2020, about 70% of the 4,000 young people who texted the Jane’s Due Process hotline were seeking information on how to confidentially access birth control. Allowing young people under the age of 18 to consent to birth control will give them control over their reproductive health. HB 3369 is one step toward healthier futures for all young people in Texas.
“Lawmakers often assume that young people are incapable of making conscious decisions just because they are young, which is dangerous because it limits young people in decisions that they are capable of making alone,” said Jane’s Due Process Advocacy Fellow Veronika Granado. “As a young person who had to make a decision about my reproductive health care, I can say it was one of the best and mature decisions I have ever made, and years later It still is. It is important for young people to have access to birth control so that they can be able to make their own conscious decisions which makes them extremely responsible for taking action in their sexual lives.”