Governors in Texas and Missouri both recently signed bills into law outlawing harmful puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and mutilating genital surgeries for minors.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature on SB 14 makes Texas, the second most populous U.S. state with nearly 30 million residents, the largest state to enact these medical protections for minors. The bill bans health care practitioners from administering a wide range of irreversible procedures such as sterilization or removing health body parts, as well as administering harmful puberty blockers or hormone drugs. The law also bans the use of taxpayer dollars for these procedures.
Anticipating the legislation’s enactment, Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the nation, announced in May 2023 that it would manage the “discontinuation of hormone therapies” before the law takes effect September 1.
The primary author of the bill, State Senator Donna Campbell, who is also an emergency room doctor, said “If there comes a time when a profession such as the medical profession cannot regulate itself to protect patients – protect children – then the government needs to step in.” Dr. Campbell also said that children need counseling and love, not damaging drugs and surgeries.
In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson signed a similar bill known as “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act,” which also protects children struggling with gender dysphoria from being subjected to these procedures.
As Texas did in 2021, Missouri also enacted another bill this week which restricts biological males from playing on female sports teams. SB 39 prohibits “…a private school, public school district, public charter school, or public or private institution of postsecondary education from allowing any student to compete in an athletic competition that is designated for the biological sex opposite to the student’s biological sex as stated on the student’s official birth certificate.”
In signing both bills, which will take effect Aug. 28, 2023, Gov. Parson stated, “We stand up to the nonsense and stand with [women and girls] as they take back their sport competitions. In Missouri, we support real fairness, not injustice disguised as social righteousness…We must [also] protect children from making life-altering decisions that they could come to regret in adulthood once they have physically and emotionally matured.”
At least 21 states have now enacted laws protecting women’s sports as well as children from medical mutilations and harmful drugs. According to legislation tracking data, more than 100 bills focused on protecting minors in health care, sports, bathrooms, education and the public square have been enacted since 2022, while 373 bills progress through the legislative process across 49 states. An additional 246 bills have failed in committee hearings or were voted down. To learn more about enacted state laws countering gender ideology, visit Liberty Counsel’s website here.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We commend these two state governors in Texas and Missouri for standing up and protecting children. More states are seeing the need to protect our female athletes from unfair competition against biological males, and to protect our children from the irreversible, experimental treatments of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries. Every state in the nation should enact these laws.”