87th LegislatureHealthcareAbbott Says Chance of Sex-Altering Procedure Bans for Children Was ‘Nil’ in Texas House, Promises Announcement

Governor Greg Abbott has never before thrown explicit support behind proposals to ban sex reassignment procedures for children.
July 20, 2021
During a radio show Monday, Governor Greg Abbott hinted he would address the issue of sex-altering procedures for children “within the next week.”

Responding to radio host Mark Davis, Abbott shied from specifics but said his office will soon present a path forward to ban surgeries and drugs meant to change a child’s sex.

“We have another solution that will address that problem that will be announced shortly,” Abbott said.

“The solution should be announced within the next week.”

According to Abbott, the doom of gender reassignment bans for minors in the regular session was an assured open secret.

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“I’ll be candid with you. I’ll tell you what everybody knows. And that is the chances of that passing during the session in the House of Representatives was nil,” Abbott said.

However, when Davis asked why the bills meant to stop puberty blockers and sex changes for minors stalled, Abbott said he couldn’t specify.

“I can’t answer for that other than I can game the odds. However, what I can tell you is I have another way of achieving the exact same thing,” Abbott said.

“And it’s about a finished product as we speak right now. It may be announced as soon as this week.”

Abbott’s statement marks the first time he has publicly thrown support behind a ban on sex-altering procedures for children.

Committee stagnation and low-priority calendar placement killed all proposals to ban sex reassignment procedures for children during the regular legislative session. Most bills settled in the House Public Health Committee, chaired by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth), without movement. From there, one moved forward but died without reaching a House vote before the midnight deadline.

Some pundits called the low calendar placement an intentional move by Calendars Committee Chairman Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock). His leadership of the committee earned him a spot on Texas Monthly’s list of best legislators, which credited him for the death of one gender reassignment ban and Senate Bill 29, the transgender sports bill.

While several bills were filed to achieve this end, two broad categories of enforcement emerged: bills that would punish parents, and bills that would punish doctors. Bills filed by Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) and Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) would have classified sex-altering procedures as child abuse, thereby empowering the state to intervene in families. Bills by Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) and Sen. Bob Hall (R-Friendswood) would have let the Texas Medical Board discipline doctors for performing surgeries or giving children puberty-blocking drugs for the purpose of altering their sex.


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Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell is a reporter for The Texan, a Texas native, and a huge Allman Brothers fan. He graduated cum laude from Trinity University in 2020 with a degree in English. Isaiah loves playing music and football with his family.