Texas lawmakers consider transgender restrictions
(KTEN) — Texas and Oklahoma lawmakers have been considering bills that would ban transgender care for young people.
About 1.42 percent of Texas youth between the ages of 13 and 17 — almost 30,000 — said they identified as transgender in a 2022 survey by the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute.
"Give people a chance to live their lives, " said Grayson County activist Jan Fletcher. "Don't interfere. Don't make it a crime. Don't make it a trauma. Don't take away our rights."
One of the Texas bills now under consideration is House Bill 1686, which would prohibit doctors from giving transgender related health care to children under 18 years old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that would be a mistake.
“There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving," the organization said in a statement.
"Proponents of these disturbing bills often falsely assert that transgender care for minors is extreme or experimental," the American Medical Association added. "In fact, clinical guidelines established by professional medical organizations for the care of minors promote supportive interventions based on the current evidence and that enable young people to explore and live as the gender that they choose."
"I don't know why the government is insisting running our morals. It is the separation of church and state. The church has no business in it. The government has no business in it," Fletcher said. "They can make the decision for themselves, not the government."
But Texas resident Heather Baker disagrees.
"They believe the physician has the power to do this. I think we are giving too much faith in these doctors," she said. "I feel like parents are giving their kids too much leeway at a younger age."
"The youth today are more mature than they were in my day, and they know the consequences of our actions," Fletcher countered, saying young people know what's best.
"They understand so much more of the world then we did, and our elderly legislatures have absolutely no idea what they're going through," she said.
Baker expressed concern that children may change their minds when they're adults.
"I feel like definitely shouldn't be their option because what... you have to be what 21 to drink. You have to be 21 to smoke," she said Baker.
The Texas Public Health Committee will determine whether House Bill 1686 moves to the full House for further consideration.