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Study: Funding Cuts Made It Harder for Texas Teens to Get Confidential Contraception Access 

click to enlarge Protesters hold signs at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in San Antonio. - MICHAEL BARAJAS
  • Michael Barajas
  • Protesters hold signs at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in San Antonio.
Texas' tighter constraints on family planning programs slashed teens' ability to access contraception without their parents' consent, according to new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

What's more, the study's lead author cautioned that the findings foreshadow what may happen nationwide as the Trump administration enforces rules limiting what federally funded family planning groups can tell patients about abortion. A federal appeals court sided with the Trump administration Monday in a lawsuit contesting the legality of that rule.

"Based on what we saw in Texas, we're expecting there to be similar compromises in services available to teens around the country," said lead author Kate Coleman-Minahan, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Nursing.

According to Coleman-Minahan's research, publicly funded family planning agencies had a harder time supplying teens with confidential access to contraceptives after the state cut planning budgets in 2011. Lawmakers also removed Planned Parenthood from Texas' family planning funding at that time.

In the end, Coleman-Minahan said lawmakers may end up hurting their own efforts to curtail abortion by making it harder for young people to access contraception.

"When there's a lot of rhetoric around concern that teens are getting abortions, it seems counterintuitive to also cut access to programs that have been proven to help them from getting pregnant in the first place," she said.

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January 12, 2022

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