Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Friday that makes Texas the largest state to protect children from life-altering transgender procedures.
The bill, SB 14, bans children from being given puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and undergoing surgical procedures such as a double mastectomy for girls who identify as boys. It also prohibits state dollars from being used to fund such procedures for children.
“If there comes a time when a profession such as the medical profession cannot regulate itself to protect patients — protect children — then the government needs to step in,” said state Senator Donna Campbell, the author of the bill, during previous debate on the issue.
“Our children need counseling and love, not blades and drugs,” she added.
With Abbott’s signature, the Lone Star State joins at least 18 other states that have banned transgender surgeries for minors, with many prohibiting both surgical and chemical procedures.
The Texas law says that the procedures are prohibited “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 legislation took a while to get through both chambers of the Texas legislature as Democrats used parliamentary tactics to stall it. Notably, Democrat Rep. Shawn Thierry voted for the bill, citing scientific evidence showing the long-term impacts of transgender procedures.
Thierry said in a statement that she voted to ban minors from receiving “GnRH-analogs, (i.e. “puberty blockers”), cross sex hormones, and to undergo irreversible surgeries when experiencing gender dysphoria” after speaking with constituents and “reviewing the scientific data in this country and around the globe.”
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Left-wing legal groups, like Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Texas, have said that they will take legal action against the Texas law.
“Transgender people have always been here and will always be here,” said Ash Hall of the ACLU of Texas. “Our trans youth deserve a world where they can shine alongside their peers, and we will keep advocating for that world in and out of the courts.”
The law comes after a report alleged that a children’s hospital in Houston was performing transgender procedures on children as young as 11.
According to whistleblower documents obtained by City Journal’s Christopher Rufo, Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in the U.S., inserted an implantable puberty blocker in multiple children, including at least one 11-year-old.
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