Gov. Abbott says he will sign bill banning puberty blockers, hormone treatments for trans kids

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he’ll sign Senate Bill 14 into law, which will block transgender children from certain treatments.

But other states that passed similar legislation have run into problems in the courts.

Protests at the Texas Capitol failed to shut down legislation that blocks certain care for transgender children.

The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk, and Thursday, Gov. Abbott told FOX that he’ll sign it.

"A person under 18, they don’t have the mental capacity to make a life-changing decision," Gov. Abbott said.

Opponents of the legislation are now shifting their battle from the Texas Capitol to the courts.

The ACLU, Transgender Law Center, and Lambda Legal said they plan to sue.

"These laws are patently unconstitutional. They interfere with the decisions of families in consultation with their doctors, and certainly no care should be stopped," said Paul Castillo, who is senior counsel for Lambda Legal.


Bill banning puberty blockers, hormone treatments for trans kids sent to Texas governor

If Senate Bill 14 becomes law, the ban would take effect on Sept. 1. This would also make Texas one of over a dozen states that restrict transition-related care for transgender minors.

The Texas legislation is part of a wave of bills targeting transgender healthcare in red states across the country, and just part of a broader package of bills targeting LGBTQ rights.

But the bills targeting healthcare are facing opposition in the courts, with many accusing the legislation of running afoul of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

David Coale is a constitutional attorney not involved in the cases.

"The argument that people are going to make to challenge these laws is that the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection, that everybody gets treated the same, includes protection for the rights of transgender youth, because as a group of people, they often are discriminated against," Coale said.

Lawsuits have drawn attention to provisions in the bills that create exceptions.

Like the one in Texas that would allow treatment like puberty blockers for patients that need it for a reason other than gender-affirming care.

Regardless of whether the Texas lawsuit succeeds, the legislation could still be impacted if the Supreme Court ends up weighing in.

"There are court challenges all over the country, some in jurisdictions that may be receptive to those, some that may not be," Coale explained. "And at some point, it becomes a question for the Supreme Court, if there develops some conflicts and clashes among the courts of appeals."

So although the governor has not yet signed the legislation, the battle over it is just starting.