VICTORY – AFL Secures Major Victory at the Fifth Circuit in Case Involving the Biden Administration’s Attempt to Provide Drugs and Medical Treatment to Children Without Parental Consent

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a unanimous opinion in Deanda v. Becerra, which rejected the Biden Administration’s efforts to prevent parents from consenting to, or even learning about, medical care provided to their minor children, specifically, birth-control pills and other related services.

Texas law gives parents the right to consent to their children’s medical care, including whether their children receive birth control. Yet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides millions of dollars each year to Title X clinics across the United States that defy state parental involvement laws and provide birth control to minor children without their parents’ knowledge or consent. 

Title X clinics in Texas have falsely claimed for decades that the Title X statute “preempts” state parental involvement laws and exempts Title X clinics from Texas’s parental consent requirements. But the Title X statute does not preempt state laws that require parental notification or consent before providing medical treatment to a minor. The Title X statute merely requires participating entities to “encourage family participation” and do so “to the extent practical”; this in no way limits the power of states to impose additional requirements on Title X projects. The Biden Administration, however, took the untenable view that the Title X statute, which requires Title X clinics to “encourage family participation,” actually requires parents to be kept in the dark and forbade Title X projects from arranging for parental notification and consent. 

The Fifth Circuit correctly rejected the Biden Administration’s attempts to circumvent Texas law—which recognizes the fundamental rights of parents—and affirmed the district court’s decision that the Biden Administration’s administration of Title X violates AFL’s client’s rights under Texas state law. 

The Fifth Circuit’s decision is a massive victory for parents across the State of Texas and a crushing defeat for ideologues who seek to prevent parents from learning about or consenting to medical care provided to their children. 

Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Executive Director: 

“In all contexts, parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, including decisions about medical care. But in our society, there are forces at work in the government, the private sector, schools, and elsewhere that seek to keep parents in the dark, drive a wedge between parents and children–and ultimately destroy family relationships in hopes of replacing them with something else. We will not tolerate these attempts to erode parental rights and families and are pleased with the Fifth Circuit’s decision in this case,“ said Gene Hamilton.

Read the decision here.

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