Access to Contraception 

Access to contraception is a key factor related to declines in teen birth rates. However, not all Texas youth are able to easily access effective birth control.

Texans may face many barriers when it comes to accessing birth control and other types of health care: 

  • Financial barriers: not having insurance coverage, not having the money to pay out of pockets, or not knowing about programs that are available to pay for birth control 
  • Legal barriers: not being able to consent to contraception or health care
  • Informational barriers: not knowing about contraceptive options 

Texas is the largest state in the nation that did not expand Medicaid. As a result, many young people in Texas struggle to afford health insurance. About one out of every three young adults in Texas does not have any health insurance. 

However, there are options! Download a list of programs that help Texans access birth control and other health care.

FAQ: How Can I Access Reproductive Healthcare in Texas?

Access to Contraception Navigator

Texas laws around legal consent to healthcare for minors are confusing and restrictive. While many other states allow teens under the age of 18 to consent to some healthcare such as birth control, Texas laws are more restrictive. 

Most laws around minor consent to health care are found in Chapter 32 of the Texas Family Code. Texas teens who legal minors (under the age of 18 and not legally emancipated) need their parent or legal guardian’s consent to get birth control, with some exceptions: 

  • Teens can access confidential birth control and other reproductive health services at Title Ten Clinics (pronounced “Title Ten.”) These clinics offer reproductive healthcare services on a sliding scale and nobody is turned away for inability to pay. To find a clinic or learn more, visit
  • Under federal law, teens on medicaid can consent to family planning services. This includes youth in the foster care system who are served by Medicaid. 
  • Teens who are 16 or 17 years old, living on their own, and managing their own finances (including many homeless youth) can consent to their own healthcare. 
  • Minors who already have had a baby are not allowed to consent to their own contraception under state law. Texas consistently has one of the highest rates of repeat teen pregnancy in the nation. To learn more about our work to allow teen parents to consent to contraception, visit our legislative advocacy page. 
  • Texas teens can consent to screening and treatment for most sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Minors can consent to care for any disease or condition that is required to be reported to the Department of State Health Services. This includes STIs such as HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, as well as many other conditions such as influenza, COVID-19, etc. You can see the full list of reportable conditions here
  • Minors who are pregnant can consent to care related to the pregnancy. 
  • Minors who are pregnant or parenting can consent to vaccinations that the CDC recommends initiating prior to the age of 7. 

If the teen discloses information leading the healthcare provider to believe they may be the victim of abuse or neglect, include sexual abuse, the provider must report this to Child Protective Services. This includes sexual activity involving a child age 13 or younger, or sexual activity involving a teen aged 14-17 with a partner more than 3 years older.

FAQ: Consent and Confidentiality Laws in Texas

What type of birth control is right for me? 

There are many factors you may want to consider when picking a method of birth control. Some common things you may want to consider: 

  • What is the effectiveness? 
  • How much effort does it take from me? 
  • Will it change my menstrual cycle? 
  • What side effects are common with this method? 
  • Does it contain hormones? 
  • Will other people know I’m using it? 
  • Is it easy for me to stop on my own? 
  • Are there other things I feel strongly about? 

My Birth Control

How well does birth control work?

Access to contraception for youth in foster care

Youth in the foster care system may struggle to access birth control. However, under federal law, minors served by the Medicaid program may consent to their own family planning services. To learn more about how youth in care can access birth control, click below.

Contraception for Youth in Care

Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative

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