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Tags: birth control | courts | planned parenthood

Federal Judge Rules Against Program Allowing Teens Confidential Birth Control

Federal Judge Rules Against Program Allowing Teens Confidential Birth Control
Birth control pills on a pharmacy counter in Centreville, Maryland. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 21 December 2022 06:21 PM EST

A federal judge in Texas ruled against a statute that would allow teenagers access to birth control without parental consent from providers participating in a federal family planning program.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk on Tuesday means teens who receive care through the Title X family planning program will no longer do so confidentially.

Kacsmaryk ruled that the Title X program violated parents' constitutional right to direct their children's upbringing. Title X delivers free and confidential contraception and cancer screenings, among other services, to millions of low-income individuals.

Kacsmaryk was nominated by former President Donald Trump in 2017 and confirmed in 2019. He is a former attorney for a Christian legal advocacy group that has fought against contraceptive mandates.

Planned Parenthood condemned Kacsmaryk's ruling.

"Opponents of reproductive rights are not satisfied with overturning Roe — they want to take away birth control from young people and restrict access to essential sexual and reproductive health care wherever they can," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood.

"This ruling threatens the health and lives of young people, who may be stripped of their ability to access the health care they need to build healthy lives," she added.

The case was argued by Jonathan Mitchell, the former Solicitor General of Texas. He is also the author of the state's ban on abortion after six weeks, allowing citizens to sue doctors or abortion clinic employees.

Mitchell has also successfully challenged ObamaCare's rule that requires insurers and employers to cover HIV prevention drugs.

Mitchell represented Alex Deanda, who said he was "raising each of his daughters in accordance with Christian teaching on matters of sexuality, which requires unmarried children to practice abstinence and refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage."

The complaint argues that the Title X program impedes the capacity of parents to raise their children according to their religious values.

Deanda said he "wishes to be informed if any of his children are accessing or attempting to access prescription contraception and other family-planning services. And he does not want his children to obtain or use these drugs or services unless he consents."

Kacsmaryk granted summary judgment on Dec. 8 and Tuesday a final ruling that sets aside confidentiality from the Title X law, though it doesn't prohibit clinics from providing contraception to minors without parental consent.

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A federal judge in Texas ruled against a statute that would allow teenagers access to birth control without parental consent from providers participating in a federal family planning program.
birth control, courts, planned parenthood
387
2022-21-21
Wednesday, 21 December 2022 06:21 PM
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