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Texas lawmakers consider potential bans on transgender medical care

EL PASO, Texas -- The Texas Legislature is considering two bills related to transgender medical and healthcare that propose potential bans.

House Bill 1399 discourages doctors by prohibiting professional liability insurance from covering transition related care. While House Bill 68 proposes that any medical or mental health professional that performs transition related health care would be considered to be performing child abuse.

"I have two problems with both of those bills,” Dr. Bert Johansson said. “First off care to transgender children is medical care and it is health care and I'm offended when people think it's otherwise. To elevate it to the level of abuse but also talk about how you can take away malpractice I think is disingenuous." 

Author of House Bill 1399, state Rep. Matt Kraus, doesn’t want families to make a decision at a young age that they could later come to regret. 

“When you get into the gender modification and taking some of those strong steps, whether it's surgery or hormones or other things then those have some life altering consequences,” Kraus said. “You can't look back and say 'oh, I wish I hadn't of done that.'"

If these bills do pass, the LGBTQ community is concerned that suicide rates will increase. 

“Give me the tools to be able to prevent that child from committing suicide,” Johansson said. “Give me the tools to help that child be raised in a way that they can become a productive member of society."

El Pasoan Jocelyn Stout was 15 years old when she started receiving hormones and 20 when she had surgery. Without starting both of those medical treatments at a young age, Stout said she doesn’t know if she would still be alive.

"I was so unhappy, I was so miserable living in that body that I knew wasn't mine,” Stout said. “The fact that I did get to start as a teenager and younger really helped me to blossom into the woman I am."

The bills are expected to be referred within a couple of weeks. In the next two months or so, it will be more clear if these bills have a chance of passing.

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