With just over a month left in Texas’ 88th Legislative Session, the state Senate has approved a measure to ban child gender mutilation, while the House has yet to take action.

The issue is one of the Republican Party of Texas’ legislative priorities, with the Texas GOP calling for a complete ban on the procedures: “Texas must ban chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, genital mutilation, bodily alteration surgery, psychological/social transitioning, and any other methods applied to or performed on children.”

In the Senate

Senate Bill 250 by State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) would prohibit healthcare providers from performing a surgical procedure that sterilizes a child for the purpose of “transitioning” a child’s biological sex. The legislation would block doctors from providing children with cross-sex hormones.

SB 250 is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor.

The Senate approved Senate Bill 14 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R–New Braunfels) earlier this month. It would protect children from being chemically castrated by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and from receiving mutilative surgeries to “transition” them.

Before voting, the Senate shot down an amendment that would grandfather in children who began receiving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones before June 3, allowing them to continue receiving the harmful drugs.

Senators voted 19-11 along party lines to approve the reconsideration of the amendment and then its removal from the legislation.

SB 14 has now been reported favorably to the House Calendars Committee for consideration by the chamber.

In the House

House Bill 1686, by State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress), would ban doctors from performing child gender mutilation surgeries and prohibit parents from using Medicaid or state health plans to fund the operations. The bill is a companion piece to Campbell’s SB 14.

Oliverson condemned what radical gender ideology activists call “gender-affirming care” and highlighted the practice’s ineffectiveness.

“Multiple systemic reviews say there is no high-quality scientific evidence that hormone therapies, puberty blockers, or surgery help children overcome gender dysphoria or lower the risk of suicide,” said Oliverson.

What happens to an adolescent who is treated with hormone therapy or puberty blockers, and certainly surgery, is irreversible.

However, Oliverson supported the grandfather clause originally included in SB 14, saying, “The correct course of action was to allow treatment to continue in these limited cases.”

Oliverson said House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) promised a vote on the House floor, and Republicans are just waiting on the paperwork to ensure House Democrats can’t kill the bill on any points of order.

The Texas House Committee on Public Health approved HB 1686, and the bill is now awaiting submission to the House Calendars Committee.

The 88th Legislative Session ends May 29.

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.