Four bills aimed at restricting transgender Texans’ access to health care will be considered at the State Capitol this week.
The Senate Committee on State Affairs scheduled April 12 hearings for Senate Bill 1311 and Senate Bill 1646. SB 1311, written by Senator Bob Hall (R-District 2), targets the licenses and liability insurance of doctors who provide transition-related care. SB 1646, written by Senator Charles Perry (R-District 28), would add transition-related care to the State’s definition of child abuse, and would target parents, guardians, and anyone involved in administering care.
On Wednesday, April 14, House Bill 1399 and House Bill 1424 will be heard by the House Public Health Committee. HB 1399, written by Representative Matt Krause (R-Tarrant County), would target the liability insurance of medical professionals who provide transition-related care. HB 1424, written by Representative Tom Oliverson (R-Harris County), would allow medical professionals to object to any medical procedure that violates their “ethical, oral, or religious beliefs.”
There have been at least 30 anti-LGBTQ bills filed during this year’s Texas Legislative Session, a 50 percent increase from the last session, according to the pro-equality advocacy organization Equality Texas. That group, which has been advocating for LGBTQ rights at the Capitol since its inception in 1978, is urging Texans to speak out against these discriminatory bills, both in person and online.
“It is going to take our entire community to defend against these coordinated attacks,” Equality Texas said in a statement. “Together, we can do it—we have done it before.”
Those who can cannot testify in person have other options to speak out against anti-LGBTQ bills, such as providing virtual and written testimonies or contacting members of the House Public Health Committee and the Senate Committee on State Affairs.
“We need your presence, we need your voice, we need your advocacy, and we need everyone to understand this call to action is urgent,” Equality Texas said.
For more information about Equality Texas, visit equalitytexas.org.