Lawsuit filed to block Texas law banning transgender medical treatments for minors

Lawsuit filed to block Texas law banning transgender medical treatments for minors
By: Transgender Posted On: July 13, 2023 View: 455

Lawsuit filed to block Texas law banning transgender medical treatments for minors

AUSTIN — Five Texas families with transgender children are suing the state to block a new law that will bar minors from receiving gender-affirming medical treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

The families filed the lawsuit in state court in Travis County on Wednesday, arguing the law known as Senate Bill 14 is unconstitutional because it discriminates against their children by denying them health care that non-transgender youth will still be able to access. They said they were contemplating, or had already planned, to leave the state if the law goes into effect as planned on Sept. 1.

The parents and their children are using pseudonyms to shield their identities. None of the families are from the North Texas area.


“As a parent, I don’t want to see my child suffer and don’t understand why the state government would try to strip away my ability to seek the best possible health care for my child,” a parent referred to as Lazaro Loe said in a statement. “If S.B. 14 goes into effect and [my daughter] Luna loses access to this health care, I am deeply concerned about the anxiety, depression, and suicidality that she will face.”

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Two doctors as well as PFLAG, an organization that supports families of LGBTQ youth, and GLMA, which represents LGBTQ health professionals, join the families as co-plaintiffs and they are represented by private attorneys and the ACLU and ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center.

In addition to the state, the plaintiffs are suing the Office of the Texas Attorney General, the state Health & Human Services Commission and the Texas Medical Board.


They argue the law violates the rights of parents to seek medical treatments for their children and doctors to provide care according to their training and best practices and discriminates based on sex and gender identity. They are asking that the law be declared unconstitutional and be put on hold as it is challenged in court.

There are an estimated 29,800 transgender Texans between ages 13 and 17, according to a recent statistical analysis by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.


Gov. Greg Abbott and Angela Colmenero, who is serving as interim attorney general in the place of Ken Paxton, who is suspended due to his impeachment, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When he signed the bill into law June 2, Texas became the largest state to ban gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender youth.

According to the pro-LGBTQ rights website Movement Equality Map, 18 other states have passed similar bans; laws in five states have been permanently or temporarily blocked through similar litigation.

The law will require the state to revoke the medical licenses of doctors who provide treatments like puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgery to patients under the age of 18 in order “to transition a child’s biological sex.” It will also ban public money from going to individuals and entities, including public hospitals and universities, that provide or facilitate such care to minors.

Several institutions in Texas cut off care to transgender minors ahead of the signing.


Existing patients can continue their treatments without switching medications or beginning a new course of care, if they had attended 12 or more sessions with a mental health counselor or psychotherapist in the six months prior to June 1, 2023. Doctors will be required to “wean” them off this care in a “safe and medically appropriate” manner.

Mental health care and “social transitioning,” when someone is allowed to use the pronouns, name and dress in alignment with the gender with which they identify, will not be banned.

Nontransgender minors experiencing issues like precocious puberty will not be barred from receiving these treatments, and surgeries on intersex youth will not be restricted.


Major U.S. health care organizations like the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics support providing age-appropriate, individualized care for children experiencing gender dysphoria.

The Texas Medical Association took a neutral stance on the legislation.

Medical treatments for transgender minors have been in the crosshairs of Texas’ top elected officials for several years. In February 2020, now-impeached Attorney General Ken Paxton stated that gender-affirming health care is akin to child abuse. The next day, Abbott directed child protective services to investigate any reports of minors receiving these treatments.

At least nine investigations were initiated. The parents of transgender kids, in tandem with PFLAG and the ACLU, sued and blocked its broad enforcement. Those cases are ongoing.


Ximena Lopez, a doctor who was providing minors with gender-affirming treatments in North Texas, sued Children’s Medical Center Dallas for abruptly closing her program off to new patients. The court has allowed Lopez to continue taking on new youth seeking these treatments as she litigates.

In May, she announced she would be leaving Texas out of concern for the safety of herself and her family and ahead of Senate Bill 14 going into effect.

This year, Abbott signed into law several bills that target LGBTQ rights, including restrictions on transgender college athletes and legislation supporters say will prohibit minors from attending drag shows.

Those laws also go into effect Sept. 1.


If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-hour crisis hotline by dialing 988. A confidential online chat is available at

Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line: Grant Halliburton Foundation initiative that connects North Texans with mental-health resources customized to each caller at 972-525-8181, or go to

Crisis Text Line: 24-hour support by texting HOME to 741741. More information at


North Texas Behavioral Health Authority: 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-866-260-8000 or go to

Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas: Speak to a trained counselor on the 24-hour hotline at 214-828-1000 or 800-273-8255 or go to

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