(The Center Square) – The Texas Supreme Court is once again at the center of a lawsuit, this time over a new law banning gender transition procedures on minors.
On Friday, the Office of the Attorney General filed a Notice of Accelerated Interlocutory Appeal with the Supreme Court stating it was staying a lower court’s ruling blocking a new law from going into effect.
SB 14, filed by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, passed the House and Senate during the regular legislative session in May and Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law June 2. It’s set to go into effect Sept. 1.
The bill prohibits procedures and treatments for gender transitioning or gender reassignment from being performed on minors suffering from gender dysphoria and prohibit public money or public assistance from being used to fund such procedures and treatments.
It amends the state Health and Safety Code to prohibit a child health plan, including health-care providers and Medicaid, from providing coverage for services “intended to transition a child’s biological sex as determined by the child’s sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles,” according to the bill language.
It also prohibits surgeries from being performed that sterilize children, prohibits providers from prescribing, administering, or dispensing prescription drugs that induce transient or permanent infertility, puberty suppression or blocking prescription drugs to stop or delay normal puberty, supraphysiologic doses of testosterone to females, or supraphysiologic doses of estrogen to males, and prohibits the removal of any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.
In July, the ACLU sued “on behalf of five Texas families, three medical professionals, and two organizations representing hundreds of families and health professionals.” The bill’s passage, it argues, caused the families to split up or plan to leave Texas to “transition” their children between the ages of 9 and 16. It refers to the procedures as “life-saving medical care” used to treat “gender dysphoria for transgender youth.”
The lawsuit was originally filed in Travis County District Court. On August 25, the 201st Judicial District Court of Travis County granted the ACLU’s request for an injunction.
On the same day, the OAG filed its appeal with the Texas Supreme Court citing the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 6.001(b) and Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 29.1(b).
The OAG’s filing stays the district judge’s ruling pending a decision by the Texas Supreme Court. The OAG used a similar tactic fighting a lower court ruling in a case filed by Harris County. In response, Harris County filed an emergency appeal, which the court rejected. The ACLU also said on Friday it “will seek emergency relief.”
The lower court attempted to block the state’s enforcement of the law “protecting children from ‘gender transition’ interventions,” the OAG says. The law prohibits medical professionals from performing experimental hormone therapy or conducting “mutilative ‘gender transition’ surgical procedures on minors,” the OAG says. “These unproven medical interventions are emphatically pushed by some activists in the medical and psychiatric professions despite the lack of evidence demonstrating medical benefit, and even while growing evidence indicates harmful effects on children’s mental and physical welfare.
“The OAG will continue to enforce the laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature and uphold the values of the people of Texas by doing everything in its power to protect children from damaging ‘gender transition’ interventions.”