The highest court in Texas will hear oral arguments on Tuesday over a new Texas law banning transgender procedures for minors.

When Texas legislators passed a ban on sex-altering surgeries for minors last year, it set off a flurry of lawsuits that resulted in a lower court blocking the law from taking effect. However, the Office of the Attorney General appealed the ruling, allowing the law to take effect in September 2023, pending a decision from the Texas Supreme Court.

The court will now begin hearing oral arguments on State Bill 14, authored by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress), both medical doctors. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Campbell and Oliverson have asserted that “gender modification treatments and procedures have no scientifically-verifiable, proven benefit,” despite arguments to the contrary from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The law specifically bans physicians from performing sex-altering surgeries or administering transgender hormones to minors who are experiencing gender dysphoria, defined as the “feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth,” per the Mayo Clinic.

After the bill was passed in August 2023, a lower court ruled that the ban “likely violates the Texas Constitution.” Specifically, the judge found that the law would prevent parents from deciding on appropriate medical care for their children.

Proponents of the law argue that sex-altering procedures in minors do not have medical value, and in many cases, the procedures are irreversible, though some studies suggest that not all transgender individuals come to regret their decision. Further, little is known about the long-term effects of the drugs; one study funded by the National Institute of Health is examining whether transgender hormone usage may elevate cardiovascular risk, as The Dallas Express reported.

In recent years, the number of minors reporting gender dysphoria has skyrocketed, but the reasons for the increase are unclear. Reuters reported in 2022 that the number of minors seeking transgender procedures had doubled between 2019 and 2021. More than 42,000 minors nationwide sought procedures in 2021.

Numerous states have recently enacted laws restricting or banning various forms of transgender procedures for minors. Some states also have passed laws that create a criminal offense for medical practitioners who perform procedures that violate state laws. In all, 20 states have passed legislation restricting access to gender modification procedures.