We’re suing Texas on behalf of families and health professionals to stop state officials from banning life-saving medical care for transgender youth under Senate Bill 14, which is set to take effect September 1, 2023.
Below are five common questions about why this lawsuit matters and what you can do to help.
1. What does S.B. 14 do?
During this year’s regular legislative session, politicians passed a bill that prohibits Texas health care providers from providing medical care to adolescents for the treatment of gender dysphoria — and threatens doctors’ licenses if they do. Puberty blockers and hormone therapy have been used to treat gender dysphoria for decades, are firmly grounded in science, and are considered life-saving care by every major medical association.
2. Why does S.B. 14 break the law?
S.B. 14 is unconstitutional under the Texas Constitution because it violates the rights of parents to provide best-practice medical care for their children. It discriminates against adolescents on the basis of sex and transgender status by banning transgender youth from accessing care while allowing anyone else to obtain the same treatments. It also violates the rights of medical providers by interfering with their licensure and ability to practice medicine.
3. What impact will S.B. 14 have on Texans?
Banning evidence-based medical care can have devastating consequences for young transgender people and increase the likelihood of anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Families with transgender youth will be forced to leave their homes and flee Texas, if they can afford to do so, to access treatment for their children. It will also require doctors to violate their oath to uphold the highest standards of care and many may choose to move out of state. Allowing politicians to override the personal medical decisions of patients, their families, and their health providers threatens Texans of all backgrounds.
4. What is the lawsuit's goal?
Loe v. Texas aims to ensure this life-saving and evidence-based medical care will remain available in Texas. We're seeking a temporary injunction to block S.B. 14 before it goes into effect September 1. After we obtain this temporary relief, we intend to permanently block the law.
To young Texans: Know that you’re loved and supported. No law can stop you from being who you are. Remember that you don't have to share details about the medical care you receive with anyone. Visit txtranskids.org for resources and a list of organizations working to help transgender youth in Texas.
To parents/guardians: Know that your love and support matter. In 2022, we sued Governor Abbott to stop the Department of Family and Protective Services from investigating families of transgender youth for child abuse. We won court orders that are still in place and apply to members of PFLAG and their families who live in Texas. Join PFLAG National and maintain your membership. Visit txtranskids.org for additional resources. You can also sign up for updates from the ACLU of Texas.
To allies and supporters: Know that your advocacy matters. As important as our legal efforts are, it will take all of us to create a climate in Texas where every family feels safe and can build a good life. You can help by pledging your support for trans youth and encouraging others to do the same. You can also sign up for updates from the ACLU of Texas.