AUSTIN (LifeSiteNews) — The Texas Senate passed two bills this week to ban transgender mutilation of children and block gender-confused males from competing in women’s college sports.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed SB 14, which bans healthcare providers from performing “gender transitioning or gender reassignment procedures” on children under 18 years old.
Specifically, the bill prohibits subjecting minors to sterilizing surgeries, including castrations and hysterectomies, mastectomies, and procedures to “remove any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.” It also outlaws providing or prescribing children puberty blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones.
The bill, authored by Republican state Sen. Donna Campbell, includes exceptions for children with precocious puberty, a “medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development,” or an abnormal sex chromosome structure, as determined through genetic testing.
SB 14 requires the Texas medical board to revoke the licenses of physicians who violate the bill and allows the state attorney general to bring actions to enforce it.
It additionally blocks public funding for any entity or individual that “provides or facilitates” “gender transition” procedures for children and prohibits Medicaid reimbursement and public health coverage for the practices.
Campbell described the bill as a “child protection act.” “The children need counseling and love, not blades and drugs,” she said.
But Campbell worked with Democratic state Sen. José Menéndez to water down the bill before passage, amending it to allow minors who are already receiving puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones 90 days before the bill takes effect to continue doing so.
The amended bill passed in a 19-11 vote, along party lines, and would take effect September 1.
In the Texas House, nearly 80 lawmakers have introduced a stricter bill to ban child “gender transitions,” HB 1686. It has yet to pass out of the House Public Health Committee.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order last year directing all Texas agencies to treat “gender transition” procedures for minors as child abuse and investigate any reported instances of children being subjected to the practices, but court orders have limited the ability of the state child services department to conduct investigations.
Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are linked to serious and life-threatening side effects, including cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, and infertility. “Gender transition” surgeries result in irreversible mutilation and sterilization, and research shows that people who undergo them have exponentially higher suicide rates.
Protecting women’s sports
The Texas Senate passed another bill on Wednesday to protect fairness in sports by preventing college athletes from competing on teams for the opposite sex.
The bill, SB 15, bans intercollegiate athletic teams from allowing students to compete on teams that are not designated for their sex, as reflected by an accurate birth certificate. The legislation also applies to out-of-state students competing in Texas.
Higher education institutions can face civil lawsuits for violations, and the bill also provides protections to whistleblowers who report violations.
Under the bill, female students can compete on men’s teams if no corresponding team for women is available.
“We are watching the denial right now of one of the most basic truths out there, which is a refusal to acknowledge the biological difference between men and women,” said Republican state Sen. Mayes Middleton, who authored SB 15, during debate on Tuesday.
“We hope every woman in this great state has a fair opportunity at athletic excellence through achievement and this bill protects that opportunity,” he added.
The state Senate passed the bill in a party-line vote of 19-10. Texas House lawmakers have introduced similar legislation.
Texas already enacted legislation in 2021 requiring K-12 students to compete on sports teams according to their sex. Gov. Abbott vowed in February that the state would pass a bill this year to ban males from competing in women’s college sports.
The Texas Senate additionally approved a bill on Wednesday to prohibit changing the sex recorded on a child’s birth certificate, except in the case of a clerical error or if a child has ambiguous sex characteristics. A Texas Senate committee also advanced two bills this week to protect children from drag shows, including at public libraries.