Texas Legislature on Banning Transgender Medical Care for Children

Banning Transgender Medical Care for Children Sparks Outcry and Legal Battle

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Banning Transgender Medical Care for Children Sparks Outcry and Legal Battle

The Texas Legislature has made headlines by passing a bill that bans hormone and puberty-blocking treatments, as well as surgeries, for transgender children. Despite opposition from Democrats and vocal protests at the Capitol, the bill secured enough votes to move forward, positioning Texas to become the largest state to restrict transition medical care for minors.

The bill’s final version includes a limited exemption for transgender children already undergoing medical treatment. However, it requires these patients to gradually discontinue the medications over an unspecified period of time. The legislation also prohibits doctors from performing mastectomies, surgeries that sterilize children, or removing healthy tissue or body parts. Additionally, it forbids prescription drugs that induce transient or permanent infertility. The bill now awaits the governor’s approval.

This legislation is part of a series of proposals in the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature aimed at regulating the lives of transgender individuals. Another measure recently advanced by the State House requires athletes in public colleges to compete based on the sex designated on their birth certificates.

The passage of Senate Bill 14 has sparked strong reactions and prompted protests from transgender Texans and their supporters. Two individuals were even arrested during the Capitol protests. Opponents of the bill managed to delay votes on multiple occasions before it was eventually passed and sent back to the Senate for concurrence.

Even prior to this legislation, Texas officials had taken steps to hinder transgender children’s access to medical transition care. Governor Greg Abbott directed the state’s child protective agency to investigate parents for child abuse if their children undergo such treatment. These investigations faced legal challenges and prompted some families to leave the state.

This wave of bans reflects a broader national effort by Republican leaders to limit medical care for transgender children, discussions on gender in schools, and even drag performances. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill into law that enforces a similar ban on hormone treatments and gender-transition care for minors, imposing penalties of up to five years in prison for violating the law.

Supporters of the Texas legislation argue that such treatments are “mutilation,” while opponents denounce it as a politically motivated attack on the transgender community, obstructing necessary care for individuals with gender dysphoria. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended these treatments, further deepening the divide on this contentious issue.

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