Travis County Judge Temporarily Halts Texas Bill Prohibiting Puberty Blockers and Hormone Therapy for Transgender Youth; Attorney General Appeals

A Travis County judge has issued a temporary block on Senate Bill 14, a contentious Texas bill that seeks to prohibit transgender youth from receiving puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Judge Maria Cantú Hexsel, in an injunction issued on Friday, stated that this bill “interferes with Texas families’ private decisions” and violates parents’ rights to make appropriate medical choices for their children. Despite this injunction, the law is still set to go into effect on September 1, as the Texas attorney general’s office has promptly appealed.

Senate Bill 14 was passed by the Texas Legislature during its regular session in May and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 2. This bill is part of a series of laws enacted by the legislature that have had an impact on the LGBTQ+ community in the state. However, opponents of the bill have challenged its constitutionality, arguing that it strips parental rights and discriminates against transgender youth by singling them out for restricted access to certain medical treatments.

In response to the injunction, the Texas attorney general’s office swiftly appealed, pledging to take all necessary measures to protect children from what it deems as damaging “gender transition” interventions. The office emphasized that Senate Bill 14 aims to prevent hospitals from administering experimental hormones or conducting potentially harmful “gender transition” surgical procedures on minors. The attorney general’s office stated, “These unproven medical interventions are emphatically pushed by some activists in the medical and psychiatric professions despite the lack of evidence demonstrating medical benefit, and even while growing evidence indicates harmful effects on children’s mental and physical welfare.”

While the appeal is pending, the law will still come into force on September 1. This development has sparked a heated debate regarding the rights of transgender youth and the extent to which government should intervene in medical decisions regarding their care.

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