In a move that is less shocking but more heartbreaking, the entirely Republican Texas Supreme Court decided to let the curtain fall on gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth starting September 1, brushing off last-ditch efforts by advocacy groups to uphold these youths’ rights.
Flashback: Just last week, a district judge in Texas paused the controversial S.B. 14, stating that the law meddles with parents’ inherent rights to decide the best course of action for their children’s well-being. But, as expected, Texas officials were quick to appeal this ruling, leading rights groups to make a plea to the high court to pause this oppressive ban.
Sadly, the Supreme Court’s decision came without any rationale. But here’s a snapshot: S.B. 14 essentially stops transgender minors from accessing medically-approved care like hormone therapies and puberty blockers. The real kicker? If kids have already begun these treatments, they’re mandated to cease them in a “medically appropriate” way. Because, apparently, deciding when and how to stop medical care should be legislated.
A consortium of organizations, including Lambda Legal and the ACLU, didn’t hold back their disappointment and made it crystal clear: “This fight is far from over.” Their statement hit hard, emphasizing the grave peril this puts Texas’ transgender youth and their support systems in. They slammed the Texas Supreme Court’s decision, pointing out how the district court had thoroughly evaluated the law’s possible breach of the Texas Constitution. But now, with school reopening, Texas’ trans youth face a tumultuous emotional storm, all thanks to the political games being played over their lives.
With S.B. 14 in effect, Texas joins the unfortunate league of U.S. states that have curtailed gender-affirming care, a decision in stark contrast to the mounting global awareness and acceptance of transgender rights.
For now, it looks like the stage is set for a trial on May 6. Until then, one can only hope that the voices of reason, compassion, and acceptance rise louder than the archaic, discriminatory beliefs trying to push our society back into the shadows.