Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, on Friday signed into law a ban on treatment for transgender minors, making his state the largest in the United States to place restrictions on youth access to such care.
Abbott followed in the footsteps of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican, who signed a similar bill in May. Texas and Florida are the second and third most populous states in the US.
The Texas law bans medical professionals from prescribing hormone blockers or performing gender transitioning surgeries to anyone under 18 years old. It comes into effect on September 1.
The legislation includes an exception for minors already receiving puberty blockers or hormone therapy, but requires that they “shall wean off the prescription drug over a period of time and in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate.”
Transgender rights have increasingly become a hot-button issue in US politics, with Democrats decrying moves such as the Texas and Florida laws as encroaching on fundamental rights.