Texas Becomes Largest US State To Ban Treatment For Transgender Minors
WASHINGTON: Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law Friday banning the treatment of transgender people. This makes his state the first state in the United States to impose restrictions on youth access to such care.
Abbott followed in the footsteps of fellow Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed a similar bill in May. Texas and Florida are the second and third most populous states in the United States.
Texas law prohibits medical professionals from prescribing hormone blockers or performing gender reassignment surgery on anyone under 18. It comes into effect from September 1.
The law includes an exception for minors already on puberty blockers or receiving hormone therapy, but they must “discontinue the prescribed medication within a specified period of time and in a safe and medically appropriate manner.”
Transgender rights have become an increasingly hot-button issue in American politics as Democrats reject the Texas and Florida laws as infringing on basic rights.
On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said it would file a lawsuit against the state’s ban.
“Abbott can’t stop young people with disabilities from thriving in Texas — we’ll take him to court to make sure,” the rights group said in a tweet.
After the bill was passed by the Texas state legislature last month, American rights groups — including the ACLU of Texas, as well as the Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center — said the law banned “medically necessary health care.”
“Texas Senate Bill 14 prohibits the only evidence-based care for gender dysphoria for trans people under the age of 18 and aims to strip physicians of their medical licenses for providing patients with care known to be medically necessary,” the groups said in a statement. .
A dozen Republican-led states have passed similar bans in recent months.
In March, President Joe Biden said such “attacks” on transgender rights were “un-American and must end.”
More than half of transgender and non-binary youth in Texas considered committing suicide by 2022, according to a study that year by the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization involved in suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ+ youth.
“LGBTQ youth are not inherently at greater risk of suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but rather because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society,” the survey said.