After a measure to ban child gender mutilation procedures in Texas passed the House and Senate, Gov. Greg Abbott has officially signed the legislation, the final step before it goes into effect later this year.
Senate Bill 14 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R–New Braunfels) would protect children from being chemically castrated by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and from receiving mutilative surgeries to “transition” them.
The bill also prohibits the use of public money to be indirectly or directly granted, paid, or distributed to any healthcare provider, medical school, or hospital that performs gender mutilation surgeries or provides hormone blockers to minors.
The Senate passed the bill in early April, but it was quickly derailed in the House by two points of order, which Speaker Dade Phelan upheld, causing it to be delayed. However, in early May, the House finally passed the legislation, ultimately sending it to Abbott for his signature.
The bill has been met with many opponents—including groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the Transgender Law Center—who said they would sue to block the legislation from becoming law.
Despite the pushback, Abbott said he would sign the bill when it reached his desk.
“In the state of Texas, if you’re under the age of 18, you can’t get a tattoo, you can’t buy cigarettes, and so many other things, but people think that they should be able to make a decision to permanently alter their sex organs. That’s just outrageous,” said Abbott. “In Texas, we believe that cutting off a child’s sex organs is child abuse, and it’s gonna be treated that way by law,” Abbott told Fox News.
State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress), who sponsored the legislation in the House, applauded the signing of the bill, saying he knew there would be pushback, but the bill would prevail.
Children in Texas are officially protected from harmful, experimental medical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria. Thank you for signing SB14 @GovAbbott. We knew there would be court challenges. SB14 was written with that in mind and will prevail. #txlege https://t.co/OukJb5dCqX
— Tom Oliverson, M.D. (@TomOliverson) June 3, 2023
The bill goes into effect September 1, 2023.