Senate Bill 14 would prohibit doctors from providing gender-affirming care—including puberty-blocking medication, hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery—to anyone under the age of 18. Doctors who continue to provide these treatments could be stripped of their medical licenses once the bill becomes law.
Children who are currently receiving nonsurgical treatments and attended at least six months of counseling or psychotherapy before beginning care will be allowed to continue. The bill states that children must be safely weaned off the medications and cannot begin new treatment plans.
The House added this detail to the bill. The original measure would have required all minors to immediately halt treatment Sept. 1.
The Texas Senate gave final approval to SB 14 on May 18. The highly contested measure is among Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priorities for the current legislative session. Abbott also supports the bill and told Fox News he planned to sign it into law.
“I’m not gonna make any secret about it—I’ll be signing it,” Abbott said. “This is about protecting children.”
SB 14 has faced heavy opposition from Democrats and LGBTQ+ advocates. House Democrats sent the bill back to the House Public Health Committee twice through points of order, a procedural tactic often used to stall or kill legislation near the end of the session. The chamber passed the bill May 15.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the Texas Pediatric Society and other major health care organizations have expressed their support for gender-affirming care for minors.
In a May 18 news release, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, the Transgender Law Center and Lambda Legal vowed to sue the state over the ban on gender-affirming care. The organizations cited challenges and ongoing court cases on similar laws in other states.
“Medically necessary health care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed in school, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, and live authentically as themselves," the organizations said. “We will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fear-mongering.”