Parents in Texas could be sent to prison if they provide their children with gender-affirming care under a potential new bill.
Anti-trans bills and laws have been emerging across the nation as several states are attempting to ban trans children from participating in sports and stop them from receiving gender-affirming medical care. Another bill seeks to criminally punish parents for helping their children receive gender-affirming care as minors.
On Monday, Texas legislators met to hear the new bill which would redefine child abuse to include “administering, supplying or consenting to provide puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, or surgical or medical procedures” to anyone under 18 “for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment,” Dan Avery of NBC News reports.
If the new bill were to pass as law, parents could receive jail time or even have their children taken away if they are caught helping their kids get gender-affirming care or treatments. The news outlet says it would make the act a felony, next to crimes including physical and sexual abuse and sex trafficking. The bill, however, includes a section stating gender-affirming care can only be provided to intersex children.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Republican state Sen. Charles Perry, said that he doesn’t have anything against the trans community during the hearing. But, he noted that he felt it is his responsibility to protect children “who have not reached the maturity to understand what is being proposed nor the impact on them in perpetuity.” He called affirmative care “not reversible” and “life transformational and life-changing.”
“God gave us a season in life, and it’s to have innocence up to a certain point, and then, unfortunately, we lose that innocence,” said Perry, who identified himself as “a dad, a grandad, and deacon in a Baptist church.” “When parents interject things that rob them of that innocence, and really robs them of a future, we have a problem.”