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Texas Legislature Approves Ban on Transgender Medical Care for Children

The bill would go into effect on September 1

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES: The Texas Legislature voted on Wednesday to pass a law that forbids hormone and puberty-blocking therapies, as well as surgery for transgender youth, despite the opposition of Democrats and the raucous protests at the Capitol this month. The state is about to surpass all other states in the number of states that forbid minors from receiving transitional medical treatment.

The final measure had a small exemption for transgender children who were already getting medical care prior to the bill’s passage, but it also mandated that such individuals “wean” themselves off the pharmaceuticals over an arbitrary amount of time.

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The proposed would make it illegal for doctors to perform mastectomies, perform surgeries that sterilise children or remove otherwise healthy tissue or body parts, or provide medicines that result in temporary or permanent infertility. It will now head towards the governor’s desk.

The legislation was one of several measures being considered this year by the Republican-controlled Legislature to regulate the lives of transgender people. On Wednesday, the State House voted to advance a measure mandating that athletes competing for public colleges compete according to the sex listed on their birth certificate at the time of their birth.

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The law, known as Senate Bill 14, sparked demonstrations from transgender Texans and their supporters at the Capitol this month and was one of the most contentious pieces of the state’s every two-year legislative session. While the bill was being reviewed in the Texas House, state police detained two people amid protests.

Before the law was ultimately passed and sent back to the Senate, where it initially passed last month, opponents in the House twice postponed voting on it due to procedural issues. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to approve the House version and submit it to the governor.

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Texas officials started taking action to try to block transgender children from receiving medical care before the legislation was passed. Republican governor Greg Abbott instructed the state’s child protection agency to look into parents for child abuse if their children received similar treatment last year. As a result, some Texas families left the state even while the investigations were being contested in court.

14 other states have enacted bans

At least 14 other states have enacted legislation prohibiting or limiting medical care for transgender youngsters. The largest state to do so would be Texas. The Williams Institute, a research institute that examines the demographics of the L.G.B.T.Q. community has estimated that there are roughly 30,000 transgender children in Texas between the ages of 13 and 17, or about 1 percent of the state’s population in that age bracket.

The restrictions are a component of a larger nationwide campaign by Republican elected leaders to limit access to drag acts, gender conversations in schools, and medical care for transgender youngsters. 

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved a law that forbids hormone therapies and cares for children undergoing gender transition. Doctors who break the law will face up to five years in prison.

Supporters of the Texas law have referred to the procedures as “mutilation.” 

The measure’s opponents blasted it as a politicised attack on the transgender community that would keep people from getting the care they require to deal with gender dysphoria. The American Academy of Paediatrics has endorsed the therapies.

The bill heads towards the governor’s desk. On the measure this week, his administration declined to comment. It will go into effect on September 1.

The law states that minors who are already getting prescribed medical treatment would be able to “wean” themselves off the medicine “over some time and in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate.” 

However, it was unclear if doctors would feel confident in continuing to provide that care. 

The measure gives Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, enforcement authority. Before it was even passed, Paxton had already started looking into “potential illegal activity” involving at least one doctor over gender-transition therapies.

After Paxton started looking into the provider, Dell Children’s Medical Centre in Austin said that medical professionals who treat transgender kids would no longer be working there.

Also Read: North Dakota Governor Signs a Measure Outlawing Almost All Abortions

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