Texas lawmakers have proposed a bill that would designate treatments given to minors who identify as a member of the opposite sex as child abuse under state law.
ABC affiliate KVUE reports that Senate Bill 1646, introduced by State Sen. Charles Perry, would make it a crime for parents to allow their children to be administered puberty blockers, hormones, or surgeries.
Intersex children, i.e. those born with physical characteristics that are not fully consistent with either gender, would be exempt from the ban.
“Parents who break the proposed law would be in violation of the state’s Family Code, which would trigger a Child Protective Investigation, resulting in the possible removal of the child from their home, according to Perry’s office. Doctors who perform sex change treatments would also be accused of child abuse, which would trigger a license investigation by the Texas Medical Board,” the outlet explains.
The bill was co-sponsored by Republican state senators Donna Campbell, Bryan Hughes, Larry Taylor, Paul Bettencourt, Charles Creighton, Angela Paxton, Brian Birdwell, Bob Hall, Charles Schwertner, Dawn Buckingham, Kelly Hancock, and Drew Springer.
On Monday during a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing, dozens of testimonies were provided both for and against the proposed bill.
“Children are unable to give informed consent. This bill gives children a chance to get to adulthood with intact bodies,” said state GOP Executive Committee Member Jill Glover, who characterized the transgender movement as a fad.
She also noted that, under the bill, adults would not be prohibited from seeking the treatment lawmakers would like to have banned for children. Under Texas law, a minor is defined by anyone under the age of 18.
Many parents of transgender children and transgender individuals themselves also provided testimony, including, Kai Shappley, a transgender child, who told state lawmakers to reject the bill.
“I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices. Texas legislators have been attacking me since Pre-K. I am in fourth grade now. When it comes to bills that target trans youth, I immediately feel angry,” Shappley said.
The state of Arkansas recently became the first state in the nation to pass a ban gender identity-affirming treatments for those under the age of 18, while a North Carolina bill seeks to ban such treatments for those under the age of 21.
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