Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill Friday banning transgender surgeries and related medical interventions for children.
The bill, SB14, prohibits providing certain children with procedures meant for gender transitioning and gender reassignment. It also prohibits using public money or public assistance for those procedures.
Prohibited procedures under Texas law are those "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."
Banned drugs for transitioning include puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Banned surgeries include castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectormy, metoidioplasty, penectomy, mastectomy, phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, and surgeries that sterilize a child.
Exceptions to the law include children who began receiving non-surgical interventions before June 1 and children who have attended at least 12 counseling sessions six months ahead of receiving prescriptions.
The children to whom the exception applies "shall wean off the prescription drug over a period of time and in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate and that minimizes the risk of complications."
The bill becomes effective September 1. Health care providers violating it risk losing their licenses, CNN reported.
On signing the bill into law, Texas became the largest state in the country to enact legislation protecting children from the risky, controversial, life-altering procedures.
The American Civil Liberties Union pledged to file a lawsuit when the bill passed the Texas legislature in May, calling the life-altering procedures "medically necessary" for assuring transgender kids can "succeed in school" and "live authentically as themselves."
"We will be filing a lawsuit to protect transgender youth in Texas from being stripped of access to health care that keeps them healthy and alive," the ACLU said in a statement.
"Medically necessary health care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed in school, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, and live authentically as themselves. We will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fear-mongering."
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