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Texas legislature bans gender-affirming care for minors

The GOP-controlled Texas Legislature on Wednesday approved a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors. 

The bill, which now moves to the governor's desk, bans hormone therapies, puberty blockers and surgeries for people under 18 in the state. 

An exception was made for transgender minors who were already receiving care before June 1, 2023. However, the bill said those children "shall wean off" any drugs prescribed for the purposes of gender-affirming care. The bill does not specify how long patients would have to stop taking the drugs, only that it should be done "over a period of time and in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate and that minimizes the risk of complications."

The bill, officially called S.B. 14, was passed by the Texas House on Monday and the Senate followed suit Wednesday. The legislation had faced opposition from Democratic lawmakers and demonstrators staged multiple protests as the bill made its way through the legislature. Several protesters were forcibly removed from the state capitol earlier in May during a demonstration. 

If Gov. Greg Abbott signs the bill into law, which he is likely to do, Texas will become the largest state to ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed several anti-trans bills, including one that bans gender-affirming care for minors.

Missouri lawmakers last week passed similar legislation to the Texas bill, along with a bill barring transgender girls and women from competing on girls' and women's sports teams.

At least 17 states have enacted laws either restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors, according to The Associated Press.

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