Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas Supreme Court upholds ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors

Lorianne Willett

The Texas Supreme Court upheld a state law barring doctors from prescribing gender-affirming care to transgender minors on June 28, despite challenges to its constitutionality by parents and medical professionals. 

Justice Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle delivered the court’s opinion, writing that a parent’s right to raise their kids without government interference is not absolute. Justice Debra Lehrmann was the only dissenting opinion in the 8-1 decision. 

“When developments in our society raise new and previously unconsidered questions about the appropriate line between parental autonomy on the one hand and the Legislature’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine on the other, our Constitution does not render the Legislature powerless to provide answers,” Huddle wrote. 

Last year, state lawmakers banned transgender minors from accessing puberty blockers and hormone therapy used to treat gender dysphoria, or discomfort or distress felt by some transgender people between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.

“I think when we think transgender, and it’s even emphasized in the rhetoric of this bill, it’s specifically targeting the hormone therapy and the actual transition,” said Mars Adeeko, a rhetoric and writing senior and the director of communications for UT’s Queer Trans Black Indigenous People of Color Agency. “Before any of that, you have to have this self-awareness of how you feel about yourself, and that incongruity with your gender identity is what causes someone to discover that they might be transgender.” 

Texas parents and advocacy groups filed a lawsuit last summer, arguing Senate Bill 14 violated their right to make health decisions for their children. During an August hearing in Travis County, healthcare professionals testified the legislation would prevent them from delivering appropriate care to transgender patients. 

Adeeko, who also goes by Mariah, said they were frustrated by the decision. They said it is an issue for all American citizens, not just transgender individuals. 

“People in America have the right to self-govern, (and) we really emphasize freedom and independence,” Adeeko said. “Yet, when it comes to something as basic as how we perceive ourselves in our society, that right gets taken away from people and they get punished when they speak out to do so.” 

Ash Hall, a policy and advocacy strategist on LGBTQ+ rights at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said people will need to fight against this decision. 

“We’re going to need to show up to the Texas State Capitol next year and fight against what will likely be another onslaught of anti-trans bills that the legislature proposes, as well as push them to take back the bills from last session that were harmful, including SB 14,” Hall said. “I think we need to (remember) that the majority of Texans support and value their trans neighbors and don’t support legislation or laws that deny them access to health care.” 

Hall said people can visit the Resources for Transgender Youth in Texas website to access resources for trans youth.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.