AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas House Committee on Public Health on Monday will consider a bill that would ban minors from receiving medical treatment to change their gender.
HB 1686 by State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) would prohibit physicians from providing gender transition surgery or “puberty blockers” to Texans under 18. It would also exempt that care from coverage under state health insurance plans.
“This whole cottage industry operates without self regulation to the detriment of vulnerable children,” Rep. Oliverson tweeted Monday.
The American Medical Association opposes any such legislation, calling it “a dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine” that “will be detrimental to the health of transgender children” in a 2021 letter to the National Governors Association.
The bill is identical to the Texas Senate’s companion legislation, SB 14 by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels). That bill was passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee on March 22 and is awaiting a debate on the Senate floor.
The House committee clerk told KXAN 372 people have signed up to testify. At least one progressive organization, Texas Freedom Network, is protesting at the Texas Capitol Monday.