Texas becomes the largest state to ban transgender care for minors

By Daniel Trota

(Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday signed a bill banning transgender health care, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors, making Texas the largest of 20 states to having banned gender-affirming care.

Republican lawmakers across the country have promoted similar bills, saying they are wary of the consensus among major medical associations that endorses gender-affirming care as needed and even life-saving for trans youth after an assessment thorough.

Texas, the second most populous U.S. state, has about 29,800 transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 17, according to the Williams Institute of UCLA.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have pledged to fight the law in court because they have similar legislation in other states.

“They (Texas lawmakers) are determined to join the growing list of states determined to endanger the health and lives of transgender youth, in direct opposition to the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence,” the statement said. ACLU in a statement during the passage of the bill. the legislature.

Texas law creates exceptions for minors who started treatment before June 1 or for those who attended 12 or more sessions of mental health counseling or psychotherapy for at least six months.

But those patients “must wean off the prescription drug over a period of time,” the law says.

Proponents of these laws say the government must intervene against the wishes of parents and doctors because they fear it will cause irreparable harm and say children are unable to access such decisions.

Groups such as the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics oppose the legislation.

Republicans have introduced more than 500 bills affecting LGBTQ people in 2023, of which more than 50 have passed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights group. These numbers are up from the 315 bills tabled and 29 passed in 2022.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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