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Expanded program will provide free birth control to low-income Texas teenagers

(Image license.) / Flickr / thoughtcatalog via MGN

Officials say the consolidation of state health programs can help thousands of poor Texas teens get free access to birth control for the first time.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the new "Healthy Texas Women" program could expand low income teens' access to another 5,000 health providers.

Starting July 1, the program combines the Texas Women's Health Program and the Expanded Primary Health Care Program.

Qualifying applicants must have incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level of about $4,000 monthly for a family of four. Parental consent is required for birth control.

Teens enrolled in Medicaid already can get free birth control from Medicaid-enrolled doctors without parental consent.

Texas is fifth in the nation in teen birth rates, and highest nationwide in repeat teen pregnancies.

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