Texas Lawmakers Push Anti-Trans Legislation To Restrict Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Youth
Republican state lawmakers are currently working to pass multiple pieces of legislation regarding medical care for transgender youths, despite widespread opposition from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, the business community, and national and state medical associations.
Just last month, legislators approved Senate Bill 1646, which classifies providing gender-affirming health care as child abuse. The bill, now with the Texas House, has received pushback from physicians who say evidence-backed treatment options are safe and critical to the mental health of transgender and gender diverse children.
House Bill 1399 would prohibit health care providers and physicians from performing gender confirmation surgery or prescribing, administering or supplying puberty blockers or hormone treatment to anyone under 18. According to a coalition of state and national medical associations, doing so "would cause incredible harm to the health of transgender youth in Texas and criminalize physicians for following best practice medical care."
SB 1311 would prohibit physicians from prescribing or performing gender reassignment procedures on children; would revoke the medical license of health care providers and physicians who perform such procedures or prescribe such drugs or hormones to people younger than 18 years old.
A bill banning K-12 transgender students from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, instead of their sex assigned at birth, failed in the Texas House Public Education Committee on Tuesday. The legislation, which was approved by the Senate, has been a top priority for Republicans including Gov. Greg Abbott, who had said he would sign the bill into law.
Texas isn't the only state pushing anti-trans legislation in 2021. Bills targeting transgender people have been introduced in the legislatures of at least 33 states, many of which are aimed at transgender youth.
In the largest survey of its kind, the Trevor Project polled 40,000 LGBTQ-identifying individuals ages 13-24 in 2020. Forty percent of respondents said they have “seriously considered” attempting suicide in the past year. Those who reported facing greater rejection, violence and discrimination also reported higher rates of attempted suicide.
- Adri Perez, policy and advocacy strategist for the ACLU of Texas
- Shelly Skeen, senior attorney for Lambda Legal's Dallas office
- Dr. Seth Kaplan, MD, pediatrics specialist and president of the Texas Pediatric Society
- Rachel Gonzales, parent of a transgender child and advocate for the transgender community
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