Texas GOP reverses negotiation on transgender healthcare ban

April 5, 2023 : Texas Republicans backed out of an understanding to add additions to a bill that would effectively prohibit gender-affirming hormone therapies for transgender juvenile.

The turnaround comes after a Texas Senate committee granted preliminary consent to a bill that included the exceptions last week.  

According to the initially written by New Braunfels Republican Senator Donna Campbell, Senate Bill 14 would have vetoed medical licensure from doctors who conduct gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender children.  

Campbell altered the bill’s text on Wednesday before submitting it for approval. Her modifications allowed transgender minors who had begun gender affirmation procedures within 90 days of September 1—the bill’s first day in effect if decreed—to continue therapies.   

“We sensed that people who were currently undergoing treatment, they would have the power to continue and finish their treatment… I respect you taking this step in the right direction,” San Antonio Democratic Sen. José Menéndez spoke to Campbell during the bill meeting.   

The anomalies negotiated between Menéndez and Campbell didn’t persist for long. During a Monday session, the Texas Tribune’s Alex Nguyen conveyed that the chamber voted 19-11 along party lines to support the original version of the bill.   

Menéndez expressed bewilderment and dismay following the consent of the original bill. “There’s ample data showing that hormone therapy retreat symptoms can be and are very difficult to cope with,” Menéndez told. “I’m not sure after the listening where we — Senator Campbell and I — sat around, why we would want to pull the carpet out from under people,” he declared, according to the Tribune’s Nguyen.

Gender assertion therapies for transgender youth have been backed frequently by the U.S.’s top medical association as vital medical interventions for trans people’s biological and psychological health. But that hasn’t prevented Texas Republicans from targeting the strategies as part of a more significant legislative onslaught to ban LGBTQ rights in the Lone Star State.