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Texas poised to become largest state to ban medical treatments for Transgender Children

2023-05-19 00:00:00



NEW YORK: Despite strong and fierce opposition from Democrats and widespread protests at the Capitol, the Texas Legislature has approved a bill that bans hormone and puberty blocking treatments, as well as surgeries and medical supports, for transgender children. If signed into law, Texas will become the largest state to prohibit transition medical care for minors. The final bill does include a limited exemption for transgender children who were already undergoing medical treatment prior to its passage. But, these individuals will be required to gradually discontinue their medications over an unspecified period. Under this legislation, doctors would be strictly prohibited from performing mastectomies or surgeries that result in sterilization or the removal of healthy tissue or body parts. They would also be prohibited from prescribing drugs and medical consultations that induce temporary or permanent infertility. The controversial bill now awaits the governor s signature to be enforceable as the law. This measure is just one of several proposals introduced by the Republican dominated Legislature targeting transgender individuals. On the same day, the State House advanced another bill that would require athletes in high school and colleges to compete based on the sex listed on their birth certificate. The contentious Senate Bill 14 has been the subject of intense debate and protests at the Capitol, with Texas law enforcement even arresting two individuals during the discussions in the State House.

Procedural delays caused opponents in the House to twice postpone voting on the bill before it was eventually passed and returned to the Senate. The Senate concurred with the House version and sent it to the governor for approval. Even before this bill s passage, Texas officials had been taking measures to restrict transgender children s access to medical transition care. Last year, Governor Greg Abbott instructed the state s child protective agency to investigate parents for child abuse if their children underwent such treatments. As a result, many Texas families chose to leave the state. Why the bill matters so much Texas is poised to become the largest state to enact a ban on medical treatments for transgender children, joining at least 14 other states that have implemented similar restrictions. It is estimated that nearly 30,000 transgender children aged between 13 to 17 reside in the state, comprising approximately 1 percent of individuals in that age group, according to the Williams Institute A research center focusing on L.G.B.T.Q. demographics . These bans are part of a well fledged nationwide effort by Republican leaders to limit medical care for transgender children, as well as discussions surrounding gender in schools and drag performances.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida recently signed a bill that prohibits hormone treatments and gender transition care for minors, imposing penalties of up to five years in prison for doctors who violate the law. Proponents of the Texas legislation have described the treatments as mutilation, while oppositions argue that the measure represents a pre planned politicized attack on the transgender community, impeding individuals from receiving vital care to address gender dysphoria. It is worth noting that these treatments are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. What s coming next The scandalous bill has reached the desk of the Texas governor, who has not provided any comment on the legislation at this time. If signed into law, the bill is set to take effect on September 1. Under the provisions of the bill, minors who are currently undergoing prescribed medical treatment would have the opportunity to gradually discontinue the medication over a period of time and in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate. But things to keep in mind is that, it remains uncertain whether doctors would feel comfortable continuing to offer such care. The bill grants enforcement authority to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has already initiated investigations into potentially illegal activities related to gender transition treatments by at least one medical provider.

Following the inquiry by Mr. Paxton into Dell Children s Medical Center in Austin, the center announced that doctors who provide care to transgender children would no longer be associated with their facility. The repercussions of this legislation and the investigations have raised concerns about the future availability of medical services for transgender minors in Texas.

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