News (USA)

Texas bans gender-affirming care & requires trans youth to detransition

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Photo: Gage Skidmore

Texas has become the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.

On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the legislation, which says doctors cannot prescribe youth hormones or puberty blockers and cannot perform gender-affirming surgery on minors (something that is already extremely rare). It also says that any youth currently receiving such care must be weaned off of their treatment – essentially forcing them to detransition.

The law is set to take effect on September 1st.

Texas is the 19th state to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. It is also the largest state in the nation to do so. A report from the Williams Institute found that approximately 30,000 Texas youth ages 13 to 17 identify as trans. It has the third largest population of trans youth after California and New York.

The ACLU of Texas has already voiced plans to challenge the bill.

“Abbott can’t stop trans youth from thriving in Texas – and we’ll take him to court to make sure of it,” the organization tweeted, adding that gender-affirming care remains legal until September.

“We are doing everything in our power to preserve access to this life-saving, evidence-based health care beyond that date.”

The legislation is causing some parents to consider fleeing the state with their children.

“We have a safe folder. We have folders ready to go with all our documents and passports and we have cash on hand. We have an escape route if we need it,” Lisa Stanton, whose 12-year-old daughter is trans, told the Washington Post.

The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all rejected claims that gender-affirming care is harmful to transgender children or adults. All of these organizations support best-practice medical care for trans youth.

Gender-affirming care has been under attack in Texas since last year, when virulently anti-LGBTQ+ Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued a non-binding opinion stating that gender-affirming health care for transgender youth is a form of child abuse, a move that increased harassment of families with trans children.

Paxton was recently impeached on corruption charges in a shocking bipartisan vote and is currently suspended from office.

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