By Taylor Millard, Contributing Writer
Southern Denton County legislators are praising the passage of Senate Bill 14.
The bill bans gender transitioning or gender reassignment surgery for Texas minors. It also prevents child health plans from covering the surgery or transitioning. Minors in the process of transitioning will have to wean off any drugs prescribed in a “medically appropriate” manner.
A section of the bill allows doctors and health care providers to prescribe puberty suppression or blocking prescription drugs for “normalizing puberty for a minor experiencing precocious puberty.” Children born with certain sex development genetic disorders can also get treatment.
“Texas has drawn a firm line against unproven and experimental procedures on our youngest citizens,” said Sen. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) in a statement, vowing that SB 14 protects Texas children. “Authored and led by two doctors, this bill is a compassionate, sensible response to protect vulnerable children from irreversible physical alterations that change their biological sex. We’re ensuring their natural development isn’t impeded by premature, life-altering decisions.”
Rep. Kronda Thimesch (R-Lewisville) agreed while also saying that it’s medically pragmatic and followed legal precedence. “We do not let children get tattoos before they turn 18; how can anyone reasonably justify giving irreversible hormones or surgery to the exact same group? These permanent decisions must be made as an adult with full understanding of the consequences. The Legislature must intervene with safeguards to protect minors from life-altering treatments that cannot be undone in adulthood.”
Rep. Ben Bumgarner (R-Flower Mound) also voted in favor of SB 14.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he’ll sign it into law. “I’m not going to make any secret about it. I’ll be signing it,” he told Fox News on Thursday. “This is about protecting children.”
Multiple groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal, and Transgender Law Center promised on Thursday to sue the state. They’ve accused Texas of ignoring warnings from transgender children and most of the medical community.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.