AUSTIN (KXAN) – Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Friday the controversial Senate Bill 14 that bans gender transition care for Texas minors. The law will go into effect Sept. 1.
The law will prohibit minors from receiving puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transition to the gender with which they identify. Texas kids already accessing these types of treatments will have to “wean” off of the medication over a period of time that minimizes risk and in a manner that is “medically appropriate,” per the bill text.
Texas now joins 18 other U.S. states that have also banned medication and surgical care for transgender youth. Ten U.S. states have “shield” laws protecting access to transgender health care. It’s important to note that examples of children under the age of 18 having transition-related surgeries are exceedingly rare across the country, per Politifact. Politifact was not able to find any examples of “young children” having these surgeries.
Opponents of SB14 have ardently protested against the bill throughout the 89th legislative session.
“A decade of research shows [gender-affirming care] reduces depression, suicidality and other devastating consequences of trans preteens and teens being forced to undergo puberty in the sex they were assigned at birth,” wrote the Texas Democrats in a May press release.
“It’s a tragedy that the lives of marginalized Texas children are being sacrificed to the will of fringe, far-right extremists. Texas is better than this,” it continued.
Supporters of the bill law said they are concerned with parents allowing children to make life-changing decisions while they are young.
“The Children’s Gender Protection (CGPA) Act, Senate Bill 14 by Rep. Tom Oliverson, is a compassionate solution that recognizes the continuing evolution of a child in adolescence. This legislation provides a common-sense prohibition on medically unnecessary, irreversible gender modification therapies and medical procedures to alter a child’s gender before they are of legal adult age,” wrote the Texas House Republican Caucus in a May press release.