Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to target parents of troubled children who undergo “gender-transitioning procedures” as potential incidents of child abuse. On Tuesday, Abbott ordered his state’s child welfare agency, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, to investigate families of transgender children who allowed the child to undergo procedures like hormone therapy because Abbott believes they constitute child abuse on behalf of the parents or guardians of such children.
Abbott’s letter to the child welfare agency came one day after the state’s Attorney General, a Republican named Ken Paxton, released an opinion finding that hormone replacement therapies and similar procedures are to be considered child abuse under existing Texas law. Texas lawmakers fear that some children are being forced to undergo these serious medical procedures without fully understanding the consequences of their actions.
In the letter, Abbott’s team wrote, “I hereby direct your agency (the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services [DFPS]) to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.”
The letter concluded: “Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur… To protect Texas children from abuse, DFPS and all other state agencies must follow the law as explained (by the Office of the Attorney General).”
Although Texas Republicans are working to stop transgender children from undergoing procedures to aid in their gender transition, other authorities are fighting back, including President Joe Biden. The Biden administration responded to the Texas governor’s decision to use the government to control people as needles and dangerous.
“Conservative officials in Texas and other states across the country should stop inserting themselves into health care decisions that create needless tension between pediatricians and their patients,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the Dallas Morning News. “No parent should face the agony of a politician standing in the way of accessing life-saving care for their child.”
Prominent transgender leaders, including Admiral Rachel L. Levine, who serves as Biden’s assistant secretary for health, are also vocalizing their criticism of Abbott’s attempt to stop children from undergoing gender transitions prior to the age of eighteen.
“Our nation’s leading pediatricians support evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender young people. HHS stands with transgender youth and their medical providers,” Levine said in a statement to Morning News.
Nevertheless, Abbott plans to move forward with his ban on transgender procedures for children. He wrote in his letter, “it is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”
Do you think Texas’s transgender children should be allowed to undergo procedures that allow them to change their gender that was assigned at birth?
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