AUSTIN — LGBTQ advocates rallied Thursday as state lawmakers were set to hear testimony on a controversial bill related to transgender youth.

Senate Bill 14, filed by New Braunfels Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, would prohibit gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

Opponents say the bill would cause more harm to an already vulnerable population.

“(SB 14) doesn’t make care better,” said Remington Johnson, a trans activist. “What it does is it codifies the beliefs of people who think that some people are not deserving of the standards of care.”

Johnson said bills seeking to end transgender youth health care are not only dangerous for the patients, but also they are dangerous for all Texans because they may empower lawmakers to pass additional laws that restrain patient-doctor decisions.

“These bills seek to make it a career-ending choice for a doctor to follow the standards of care,” Johnson said. “These politicians are demanding that they — not generations of expertise, not a lifetime of research and care, not the very real needs of the patient — should dictate what that care should be.”

The bill would prohibit health care professionals from providing, prescribing or administering puberty blockers, which are used to halt the production of estrogen or testosterone.

The medication is often used by transgender youth so that they do not experience the effect of puberty that may not align with their gender identification. The medical community consensus is that puberty blockers are safe and effective for trans youth. 

SB 14 also would outlaw any gender-affirming surgery, including a mastectomy, for anyone under the age of 18.

“The Children's Gender Protection Act would protect Texas children from medically unnecessary, irreversible gender modification treatments,” Campbell said in a tweet. “I’ll never stop fighting for Texas kids.”

The bill has gained support in the Texas House with a companion bill, House Bill 1686, filed by state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress.

Linzy, the mother of a transgender daughter who asked CNHI News not to use her last name to protect the identity and safety of her child, called on lawmakers who claim to favor parents’ rights to allow her to parent her child as she sees fit.

“I refuse to co-parent with the state,” she said.

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