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Texas lawmakers file bills targeting gender-affirming care for transgender children

Two Republican lawmakers have filed bills that would increase penalties for medical professionals seeking to provide such care.

AUSTIN, Texas — The 88th Texas legislative session starts in January. 

Monday, Nov. 14, was the first day Texas lawmakers and legislators-elect could file bills ahead of the session. As of Thursday, more than 1,000 bills have already been filed. 

KVUE is taking a look at some of the policies lawmakers want to pass. This time, we're looking into bills that could significantly impact the lives of transgender children and their parents.

State Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Republican from Royse City, Texas, filed House Bill 42. It would expand the definition of child abuse to include gender-affirming care by medical professionals, including medications like puberty blockers and mental health care that attempts to "change or affirm a child 's perception of the child's sex, if that perception is inconsistent with the child's biological sex."'

It's worth noting that similar legislation died in the Legislature last session.

Credit: KVUE

State Rep. Steve Toth, a Republican who represents The Woodlands, Texas, filed House Bill 122. It would go one step further and criminalize gender-affirming care, making it a second-degree felony for medical professionals to perform surgery on or provide gender-affirming medications to children. Second-degree felonies carry punishments of two to 20 years in prison.

Credit: KVUE

In the Senate, Republican State Sen. Charles Perry of Lubbock, Texas, filed Senate Bill 162. It would prohibit state and local registrars from changing the biological sex on a minor's birth certificate unless there is a clerical error, the sex isn't listed or the child was born with atypical organs or chromosomes. 

The bill also states that the courts can't order registrars to make a change.

Credit: KVUE

It's a long road for a bill to become law, and that journey begins when the session convenes on Jan. 10. Read about some of the other bills that have already been filed.

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