Texas Bill To Label Parents Of Transgender Minors As "Child Abusers" If They Support Them

Texas Bill To Label Parents Of Transgender Minors As "Child Abusers" If They Support Them

Texas GOP Republican Executive Committee Member Jill Glover believes this bill is necessary as "children are unable to give consent."

Image Source: Getty Images/Julian Popov / EyeEm

Trigger Warning: This story contains instances of transphobia that may be disturbing to readers. 

In what can only be considered mind-boggling, Texas lawmakers are actually considering a senate bill —Texas Senate Bill 1646 — which would not only change the state’s child abuse law, it also makes gender-affirming care illegal for minors. According to KVUE, the bill filed by State Sen. Charles Perry would make it a crime for parents of transgender children to undergo a sex change. The only exception to this is if the child is born intersex. The bill will not allow children to "receive puberty suppression prescription drugs, cross-sex hormones or medical procedures or surgeries that would assist in a gender transition or reassignment."

Per LGBTQ Nation, this bill comes at a time where evidence shows extending support to trans kids is actually beneficial to their mental and physical health. Parents could face jail time if they choose to support their trans kids if the bill passes. However, Republicans are more than willing "to sacrifice 'personal freedom' for government regulation."



If Perry's office has its way, then parents who break the law would be in violation of the state’s Family Code. This, in turn, would lead to a Child Protective Investigation, resulting in the possible removal of the child from their home. This law doesn't just target supportive parents. Even doctors who perform sex-change procedures stand accused of child abuse, and would subsqently lead to a license investigation by the Texas Medical Board.



The bill had its first hearing on Monday during the Senate Committee on State Affairs, and many senators had mixed reactions to it. They were some who supported the bill and there were others who did not. Texas GOP Republican Executive Committee Member Jill Glover testified that sex change is nothing but the latest trend that has been amplified by social media. She emphasized how this bill is only meant for minors (people under 18 under Texas law) and doesn't apply to adults. 



"Children are unable to give informed consent. This bill gives children a chance to get to adulthood with intact bodies," Glover said. Parents of transgender kids and transgender adults argued that their children should have a say and be listened to when they make their decisions in tandem with their parents and medical authorities. They also stressed the fact that delaying a sex change could lead to increased anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Kai Shappley, an Austin transgender girl who moved from Pearland for a "more welcoming environment," told state lawmakers to not make a bad decision. "I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices," Shappley said. "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."



Doctors for Change, a Houston-based organization that focuses on research, education, collaboration, and advocacy, wrote a letter to state lawmakers before the hearing: "We care for Texans of all ages, including transgender and non-binary children, youth, and adults and we are appalled by the blatant intention of SB 1646 to characterize the provision of our compassionate, evidence-based care as ‘child abuse’ and to levy criminal penalties against providers who are putting the health and well-being of patients first," the letter said.



"Each provider plays a role in ensuring the health of the child based on established standards of care and the peer-reviewed medical literature. In our experience, affirmation and acceptance from parents, guardians, physicians, and all other important adults in a child’s life is extremely beneficial to the child’s health outcomes and happiness. These benefits are also supported overwhelmingly by the medical literature and highly respected pediatric organizations including the Texas Pediatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Pediatric Endocrine Society."

If approved, the bill would take effect on September 1.




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