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Ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors takes effect Friday after Texas Supreme Court ruling

Some fear ramifications for families while proponents say a new ban protects children.

HOUSTON, Texas — Transgender youth in Texas will no longer have access to gender-affirming care as of Friday, September 1.

"This law needs to take effect,” said Sen. Bryan Hughes.

He's among the lawmakers who backed Senate Bill 14, which prohibits things like puberty blockers and hormone therapies for anyone under 18.

"You know, if adults want to have procedures or drugs or something that affects their bodies, that’s one thing," said Hughes.  "But these procedures that have life-altering effects on children, the Texas Supreme Court did the right thing.”

The court overruled a lower court’s temporary injunction on Thursday which cleared the way for the ban to take effect until a final resolution is reached.

"There are so many things that kids have to focus on," said Austin Ruiz with the Houston LGBTQ+ Caucus.  "Why are we making it more difficult for them to be the people that they already know who they are?”

Sam Houston State University psychology professor Craig Henderson is also the father of a trans daughter.

He told us he fears for those already possibly predisposed to mental health issues.

"These specific treatments decrease the rate of suicidality by about 70 percent," said Henderson.  "And you are removing this option of care for these individuals."  "And, so, it creates horrible dilemmas for these families.”

But the bill was sponsored in both the House and Senate by physician legislators.

Rep. Tom Oliverson of Cypress said protecting children was his primary goal.

"It regulates the practice of medicine," said Oliverson.  "It doesn’t create criminal penalties, it doesn’t put parents in jail, it doesn’t punish kids."  

"It acknowledges the fact that this is far from settled science.”

It may also be a far from settled debate.

The ACLU, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit over the law, called the state Supreme Court’s decision inexplicable and added that the fight is not over.

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