DEVOLUTION: How one judge’s opinion could make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to get birth control

DEVOLUTION: How one judge's opinion could make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to get birth control

United States District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump nominee, has opined that provisions protecting access to birth control — and the right not to become a parent — actually violate the rights of parents.

And if his ruling stands, teenage access to contraceptives could rely entirely on their parents’ religious beliefs.

The plaintiff in the case, Alexander Deanda, says he is raising his daughters with his conservative Christian beliefs, which require them to wait until marriage to engage in intimacy.

He indicates that their ability to access healthcare without his consent denies his parental right to control how his children grow up.

Judge Kcsmaryk agreed, and wrote in his opinion that the government’s justification for providing minors with contraceptives — “the undesirability of adolescent pregnancy and the consequences thereof” — don’t “justif[y]…intrusion into…parental rights.”

If this ruling is allowed to stand, it won’t only be Deanda’s daughters who can’t access birth control without parental permission, but children whose abusers have control of their medical decisions, and others who may feel unsafe reaching out to their parents for personal healthcare needs.

It could potentially be the first major chip in the foundation of birth control access following the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and the right to privacy in healthcare decisions, which has already eroded access to abortion across the country, and which right-wing extremists have already indicated is a step towards eliminating reproductive freedom.

“Currently Federal law requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Title X program to include “services for adolescents.” Kacsmaryk’s ruling in Deanda v. Becerra according to legal experts contradicts a 42-year-long consensus among federal courts that a minor’s right to privacy includes the right to obtain contraceptives,” The Los Angeles Blade reported.

It’s not Kacsmaryk’s first attack on contraceptive access, either.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Hum­­­­an Rights wrote a letter opposing his confirmation to the court, citing a long history of animus towards the rights of women and LGBTQ individuals, including support of pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions including emergency contraceptives.

Kascmaryk, they share, wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing that requiring a pharmacist to carry out the duties of his employment by filling prescriptions is “an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion on the most basic right of conscience.”

Above The Law, in covering the ruling, argues that it fails in a number of ways, including that Deanda doesn’t demonstrate standing (“[Deanda] does not allege that his daughters have ever sought Title X-funded care”); that federal laws supersede state laws (Texas state law gives parents the right to consent to their children’s medical care, and Title X would arguably outrank that): and, that claims Title X is ‘coercive’ fail when nobody is required to seek these services.

For these reasons, the publication suggests an appeal of the ruling may prevail.

The full ruling can be read through CourtListener, here.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

Stephanie Bazzle

Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: