The Texas Campaign monitors selected bills related to adolescent health, sexuality education and reproductive rights and access to healthcare. Below is a list of bills tracked by the Texas Campaign as well as the Texas Campaign’s position on each piece. When possible, we’ve included relevant background information.
In the 86th Legislative Session, the Texas Campaign is focusing on three key policy priorities:
- Consent to contraception for teen parents: In Texas, a teen mother under the age of 18 may consent to all medical care for her child, but under state law typically cannot consent to her own birth control. Texas consistently has one of the highest rates of repeat teen pregnancy in the nation, with 19% of teen births being a repeat birth. To learn more about minor consent to contraception, download our one pager on minor consent. (Filed legislation: HB 938, SB 149)
- Auto-enrollment from children’s health programs in Healthy Texas Women: Young adults in Texas have high rates of being uninsured. Although research shows that low-income young women in Texas want to be using effective and long-lasting methods of contraception, they perceive cost as a barrier and don’t know that they’re eligible for free programs that provide reproductive healthcare such as Healthy Texas Women. Currently, the state automatically enrolls women from Pregnant Women’s Medicaid into HTW. Similarly, the state could automatically enroll young women into HTW as they age out of Children’s Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To learn more, download the one pager. (HB 1879, SB 189)
- Contraceptive Coverage in CHIP: Texas is one of only two states in the nation that does not cover birth control for the purposes of pregnancy prevention in the Children’s Health Insurance Program. By not allowing young women to receive contraception through CHIP, they face multiple barriers and have to navigate referrals to other clinics or programs to access birth control, hurting continuity of care. Adding birth control to CHIP is projected to save the state money due to averting unintended teen pregnancies. The bill would require parental consent for birth control in accordance with Chapter 32 of the Family Code. To learn more, read our one pager on contraceptive coverage in CHIP. (Filed Legislation: HB 800).
To learn more about the Texas Campaign’s work in the 86th Legislative session, download our Legislative Priorities document.