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Texas Supreme Court allows ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth

Trans equality protest
Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-04 18:38:05-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Turmoil continues to rise for Texas families of transgender youth as the state Supreme Court allowed the state's ban for gender-affirming care to go into effect after Thursday night.

The push came as a district court judge filed an injunction against the law in response to several lawsuits filed by families of transgender youth.

The law, also known as Senate Bill 14, restricts transgender minors from receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy treatments or surgeries.

The law was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in June. Texas is one of at least 20 states that have banned transgender medical procedures for children.

There are some exceptions for intersex patients and for individuals who were already receiving gender-affirming care. However, that's only if it was before June 1. The law also forced children to be "weaned off" any drugs given by a doctor, which were prescribed as part of their transitional treatment plan.

Consequences become heavier for health care providers as the law also opens the doors for them to have their license revoked if they are found performing this practice.

Adair Apple's son, Charlie, told his parents of his desire to transition when he was 12 years old.

Through the challenges of finding proper care for her son and pushing for change within legislation, Adair emphasized no matter how far lawmakers take this law, she believed it's a blatant attack on the nation's youth.

“These laws are discriminating against youth that just need a certain kind of health care. It’s the government intruding into the lives of families who are just trying to do what is best for their children," Adair said.

The Apple family added they were on a waiting list for at least two years before finally finding a doctor that would care for Charlie. After the dedicated search, they still had to travel to Dallas every six months for substantial treatment during his transition. However, the reality is that not every family has the opportunity to do that.

"I feel bad for the families that feel like they have to move out of their home state because the laws are not respecting their human rights," Apple said, "And what do you do as a parent? Just tell your kid 'No' because someone else doesn't agree with the idea of who they are? Not at all."

For transgender minors who began their journey of transition and now looking to see what the future holds, Charlie only hopes that lawmakers think about the long term effects of these laws when they're pushing for decisions on other people's lives.

“When you take away life saving medical care, the reality is that people die," Charlie said, "Many of these kids are kids who have had the opportunity to be on puberty blockers, on hormones for their whole lives and they have not known anything different. Now you're deciding to take them off. Do you know what that can do to their emotional and mental state?"

With the passing of Senate Bill 14, Texas joined more than two dozen other states in restricting gender-affirming care. Less than a week ago, Canada also stepped in by warning it's LGBTQ+ citizens from traveling to the United States following the restrictive laws against the community.