Texas became the largest state in the nation to ban gender surgeries and the administration of cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers on subjects under age 18 after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law on June 2.
Senate Bill 14 bans treatments “for the purpose of transitioning a child’s biological sex as determined by the sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles of the child or affirming the child’s perception of the child’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s biological sex.” The bill also bans the use of public money or public assistance to pay for such treatments.
According to the Family Policy Alliance (FPA), part of Focus on The Family, Texas becomes the 17th state to pass such a law, and the largest, with a population of 30 million people. It is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1. FPA has been working with states to pass such laws through its national Help Not Harm! initiative.
The conservative group Texas Values posted a celebratory tweet on June 2: “@GovAbbott signs bill banning dangerous and irreversible gender modification surgeries on #TX children! #SB14 is NOW the LAW! Thank you Senator @DonnaCampbellTX and Representative @TomOliverson!
Campbell, the leading Senate sponsor, and Oliverson, the leading House sponsor, are both medical doctors.
Among the procedures the bill outlaws on minors are castration; vasectomies; hysterectomies; phalloplasty and vaginoplasty. Additionally, no health care provider may “provide, prescribe, administer, or dispense any of the following prescription drugs that induce transient or permanent infertility,” including “puberty suppression or blocking prescription drugs to stop or delay puberty,” testosterone doses for females and estrogen doses for males given for the purpose of gender-altering results, or the removal of “any healthy or non-diseased body part of tissue.”
Exceptions include drugs given to “normalize” what is medically termed “precocious puberty,” and treatments on a child with a “medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development,” including chromosomal abnormalities.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the LGBTQ activist group Lambda Legal have vowed to challenge the new law in court.
One of the most immediate results of the new law was the announcement by Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, a nationally prominent facility, that it would cease such treatments and begin referring minor patients to out-of-state providers for gender-change procedures. The hospital had been accused of allowing such treatments on children as young as 11.
The new law drew quick responses on social media. A disabled veteran with a popular social media following among conservatives who goes by the handle @Travis_in_Flint, tweeted news of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s announcement, and Campbell, the Senate co-sponsor, retweeted it to her followers.
“Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in the nation, will no longer offer gender affirming care which includes sterilizing children, castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, vaginoplasty, and drugs that induce fertility or block puberty,” the tweet explained. “This comes into place because Texas passed a law banning the treatments. … Another win for sanity! Keep it up America!”
Meanwhile, YouTube creator and podcaster Blaire White tweeted on June 2, “I am spiraling thinking of how most people who support child sex changes don’t even think about it. They just say yes. They just defend it because blue team good red team bad. They put zero thought into what the procedures even are or do to the kids. So dark.”
Photo: Bob Daemmrich / ZUMA Press Wire via Newscom