Texas has become the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for minors after Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation on Friday.
Texas — home to one of the largest trans communities in the U.S. — is now one of 18 states that restrict transition-related care for trans minors. A report from the Williams Institute found that approximately 30,000 Texas youth ages 13 to 17 identify as trans. It has the third largest population of trans youth after California and New York.
The law is set to take effect on September 1st.
“Cruelty has always been the point,” said Emmett Schelling, executive director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas. “It’s not shocking that this governor would sign SB14 right at the beginning of Pride [Month]; however this will not stop trans people from continuing to exist with authenticity — as we always have.”
Authored by New Braunfels Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, the law bars trans kids from receiving puberty blockers and hormone therapies, treatments many medical groups support. Children already receiving these treatments will have to be “weaned off” in a “medically appropriate” manner.
The law also bans transition-related surgeries for kids, though those are rarely performed on minors.
Every major medical organization, including the American Medical Association, have come out in opposition to the bans and supported the medical care for youth when administered appropriately. Lawsuits have been filed in several states where bans have been enacted this year.
The ACLU of Texas has already voiced plans to challenge the bill.
“Abbott can’t stop trans youth from thriving in Texas – and we’ll take him to court to make sure of it,” the organization tweeted, adding that gender-affirming care remains legal until September.
“We are doing everything in our power to preserve access to this life-saving, evidence-based health care beyond that date.”
Important: Health care for trans youth is still legal in Texas until September 1, 2023.
We are doing everything in our power to preserve access to this life-saving, evidence-based health care beyond that date.
— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) June 2, 2023
Prior to SB 14, the ACLU and Lambda Legal successfully sued Texas last year to halt state-ordered child abuse investigations of parents who provide their trans kids with access to transition-related care.
The now-impeached attorney general Ken Paxton later appealed the decision in March, but the 3rd Court of Appeals has yet to issue a ruling on it, according to The Tribune.