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Texas Supreme Court Upholds State-Ban on Puberty Blockers for Minors who Identify as Transgender

The Texas Supreme Court has defended a state ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors which some parents insisted had “unconstitutionally” limited their right to receive care for their children. 

The law, which was passed last year, bars doctors from prescribing dangerous puberty-blocking drugs or hormone treatment for teenagers who identify themselves as transgender. It further prevents them from performing surgeries that change the physical characteristics to match their preferred gender identities. 

Under the legislation, children who began receiving such treatments before the bill was signed will eventually have to stop taking them. In addition, medical professionals who do not adhere to the ban will lose their licenses. 

“We conclude the Legislature made a permissible, rational policy choice to limit the types of available medical procedures for children,” Justice Rebeca Huddle wrote for the majority on the all-Republican court.

Texas, a state home to around 30 million residents, is the largest to ban gender-affirming care. 

LGBTQ+ advocates were dismayed at the decision, claiming this would curtail the rights of parents and hurt transgender students.

“Instead of leaving medical decisions concerning minor children where they belong, with their parents and their doctors, the court here has elected to let politicians … determine the allowed course of treatment,” said Karen Loewy, a spokesperson for Lambda Legal.

Around 30,000 Texans between the ages of 13 and 17 identify as transgender. 

According to the American College of Pediatricians, there is no long-term study to demonstrate the safety of puberty blockers, which makes such youth transition experimental and even detrimental. 

However, puberty-blockers can actually cause depression and other emotional disturbances related to suicide. 

The package insert for Lupron – the leading prescribed puberty-blocker in America – lists “emotional instability” as a side effect and even warns consumers to “Monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment.” 

Oxford University Professor Michael Biggs wrote, “There was no statistically significant difference in psychosocial functioning between the group given blockers and the group given only psychological support. In addition, there is unpublished evidence that after a year on [puberty blockers] children reported greater self-harm, and the girls also experienced more behavioral and emotional problems and expressed greater dissatisfaction with their body—so puberty blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria.”

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