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In 2022, a federal district court in Texas handed down a decision in the case of Deanda v. Becerra, blocking Title X federal family planning providers from providing prescription birth control to minors without parental consent. Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down their decision in the appeal of this case. The district court decision – issued by Judge Kaczmaryk, a Trump appointed judge known for his extremist anti-abortion rulings – immediately decimated Texas teens’ access to prescription birth control. By affirming the district court’s decision, the 5th Circuit not only goes against decades of judicial consensus upholding that federal programs could serve teens without parental interference. They also contribute to the continued erosion of reproductive rights for young people, who are among the most vulnerable to attacks on bodily autonomy. 

Let’s be clear: Young people deserve access to birth control without barriers. We know from over two decades of working with teens that young people will frequently include parents in their reproductive healthcare decisions. But for some, parental involvement laws and legal decisions like this one are insurmountable barriers that only contribute to reproductive oppression. Teens should be able to access birth control no matter their circumstances or where they live. By providing birth control to teens without parental consent, Title X previously made birth control available to Texas teens often facing oppression on multiple fronts. By upholding the lower court’s decision to block teens in certain states from accessing birth control through Title X, the 5th Circuit creates a multi-tiered system in which whether or not a young person has control over their own body and future depends on the luck of where they live. That is injustice. 

Jane’s Due Process will continue to support young Texans in understanding their birth control options in light of this decision. We continue to provide emergency contraception to teens in various Texas communities. And we will continue to work against extremists robbing teens of control over their own lives and futures.

If you are a teen in Texas seeking information about birth control access, text 866-999-5263 Monday through Friday between 8 am and 11 pm central time.