US state bans medical treatment for transgender children

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The Texas Supreme Court has backed a law that stops doctors from giving medical treatment to children who feel their gender is different from the one they were born with.

This treatment includes puberty blockers, hormones and other medicines that help transgender children feel more comfortable in their bodies, Reuters reported on Friday.

 

The Texas law took effect on September 1, 2023, after Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed it in June 2023.

 

The law prohibits doctors from performing gender transition procedures or treating gender dysphoria in individuals under 18 years old.

Opponents of the law, including parents, doctors, and advocacy groups, took legal action to stop it from being enforced. A judge agreed with them, issuing an injunction and ruling that the law likely went against the Texas Constitution.

 

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the earlier decision, declaring the law constitutional and allowing it to stand.

In the majority opinion, Justice Rebeca Huddle stated that although parents have a significant right to make decisions about their children’s healthcare without government intrusion, this right is not absolute.

She stated that the legislature has the authority to regulate medical practices, including in cases where parents’ decisions may conflict with the state’s interests.

 

She said the legislature made a “permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children, particularly in light of the relative nascency of both gender dysphoria and its various modes of treatment.”

 

This means that doctors in Texas are no longer allowed to give medical treatment to transgender children.

 

The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a similar law in Tennessee, which bans gender-affirming care for minors.

 

This move comes as Republican-led states increasingly focus on passing laws related to transgender rights, making this a highly watched and significant case.

 

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