A new bill has been introduced in the Texas state legislature, SB 1646, and it is a doozy of an entrant into the nationwide GOP competition to abuse transgender kids. It amends already existing child abuse statutes to go ahead and say that if parents allow their trans kids to receive life-saving medical treatment, they are guilty of child abuse.

And yes, we need to emphasize again and again that every real grown-up medical association that's weighed in on the issue says trans kids and their parents and doctors should be able to pursue gender-confirming treatments of various kinds, and every real grown-up medical association that's weighed in on the issue says denying these treatments puts kids at higher risk for suicide, depression, anxiety, and other issues. Period.

We will quote this summary from Business Insider as many times as we have to, because it saves us the typing:

Studies have shown children who are unable to access gender-affirming care experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide than trans youth with supportive doctors and families. A 2020 study published in Pediatrics found the earlier transgender youth get care, the less likely they are to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts.

This is why they call it gender-affirming or gender-confirming care. Because despite how conservatives shriek otherwise, trans people are real! And grown-ass trans people were once trans kids! And this is how the medical community agrees they should be cared for! Based on science!

So back to these Texas motherfuckers.


SB 1646 was introduced by Republican state Senator Charles Perry, and it just adds all kinda text to the child abuse statutes in the Family Code. For instance, in the definition of child abuse, the current statute lists mental and emotional injury to children, physical beating of children, child sex abuse, child trafficking, child pornography, giving kids drugs, forcing them into marriage. The new bill then adds:

... [A]dministering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of, a puberty suppression prescription drug or cross-sex hormone to a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment; or performing or consenting to the performance of surgery or another medical procedure on a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment.

That's right. Actual accepted medical treatment, the kind that's considered best practice by the medical community, would now be child abuse in line with forcing kids into kiddie porn. Again, we are talking about treatment that saves these kids' lives.

How kind of them to acknowledge the existence of intersex people, though. Often they forget those folks entirely when they're screaming and wailing about trans people and trying to get into their pants.

KVUE in Austin explains a bit more:

Parents who break the proposed law would be in violation of the state's Family Code, which would trigger a Child Protective Investigation, resulting in the possible removal of the child from their home, according to Perry's office. Doctors who perform sex change treatments would also be accused of child abuse, which would trigger a license investigation by the Texas Medical Board.

Save a kid's life, lose your kids. The party of "family values" sure is on a bender right now, isn't it?

KVUE reports on the hearing Monday in the Senate Committee on State Affairs, where hateful morons testified in support of the bill, and people who care about these kids testified against. There was also this very cool trans kid who is in the fourth grade:

Kai Shappley, an Austin transgender girl who moved from Pearland for a "more welcoming environment," told state lawmakers to not make a bad decision.

"I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices," Shappley said. "Texas legislators have been attacking me since Pre-K. I am in fourth grade now. When it comes to bills that target trans youth, I immediately feel angry."

She does not like spending her free time asking adults to make good choices. Neither do we, Kai, neither do we.

For more on how fucked up this is, read this letter from Doctors for Change out of Houston, which speaks to the science and speaks to not actually abusing kids by criminalizing life-saving medical treatment as child abuse.

Lawmakers also heard testimony in that same hearing on SB 1311, which would merely ban doctors from performing life-saving medical treatments for trans kids. See? It's not SO crazy! It's not like they're going to rip babies from their parents or anything!

We don't know if these two bills were introduced together so that one of them looks way less crazy, even though it isn't, but we'd note that this is often how Christian supremacist wingnuts run their shit. It may be that SB 1646 is too crazy to pass right now, but in comparison, SB 1311 — which is basically what Arkansas just rammed through even after the GOP governor's veto — might look downright sane in comparison.

This thread from Chrissy Stroop (whom you should be following if you are not) is a good explanation of that moving of the Overton Window.

They're only going to get worse from here.

[SB 1646 / KVUE]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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