On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill, SB14, that effectively bans transgender surgeries and related medical interventions for children. The bill specifically prohibits procedures intended for gender transitioning and reassignment, as well as the use of public funds or assistance for such procedures.
Under the new law, certain procedures aimed at transitioning a child’s biological se*x, determined by their se*x organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles, are prohibited. This includes surgeries and treatments that affirm a child’s perception of their gender if it conflicts with their biological se*x.
The banned treatments encompass puberty blockers, cross-se*x hormones, and surgeries such as castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, metoidioplasty, penectomy, mastectomy, phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, and sterilization procedures.
There are exceptions to the law for children who began receiving non-surgical interventions before June 1, as well as those who have undergone at least 12 counseling sessions six months prior to receiving prescriptions. Children falling under these exceptions must gradually discontinue their prescription drug usage in a safe and medically appropriate manner to minimize complications.
The bill is set to take effect on September 1, and healthcare providers who violate it risk losing their licenses, according to CNN’s report. With the signing of this bill, Texas has become the largest state in the country to pass legislation that safeguards children from undergoing risky and controversial life-altering procedures.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has expressed its intention to file a lawsuit following the bill’s passage in May. The ACLU argues that these medical procedures are “medically necessary” to support transgender children in succeeding academically and living authentically.
In a statement, the ACLU stated, “We will be filing a lawsuit to protect transgender youth in Texas from being stripped of access to health care that keeps them healthy and alive. Medically necessary health care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed in school, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, and live authentically as themselves. We will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fear-mongering.”