In Texas, an estimated 1 million youth do not have access to healthcare and a baby is born to a teenage mother every 17 minutes. Texas also imposes significant barriers against teens accessing confidential health care. Because Texas laws are complex and difficult to follow, medical professionals often report a lack of understanding on minor consent and confidentiality, and the circumstances under which they are allowed to treat youth. These complexities create roadblocks for young men and women seeking to access trusted, confidential care.
International research stresses that the most effective pregnancy prevention strategy is ensuring that youth receive regular, high-quality, comprehensive health services. Routine check-ups can include reproductive health screenings, and sexually active youth can be counseled on highly-effective contraception methods within a broader health care framework.
The Texas Youth Friendly Initiative tackles barriers to access by leveraging the research and findings of global and national experts to apply to Texas’s unique demographic and legal climate through a community of practice designed to build capacity and share experiences among peers from across the state. Participating clinics have access to assessments, tools and resources to build capacity in the following areas: