Story at a glance
- The White House this week said politicians’ intervention in gender-affirming care created “needless” tension and said no family should have to face the “agony” of someone standing in the way of their child’s health care.
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday issued an opinion in which he called certain types of medical care for transgender youth “abuse.”
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also this week ordered state agencies to investigate reports of transgender children receiving gender-affirming care as child abuse.
The White House on Wednesday condemned comments made by conservative leaders in Texas this week which likened gender-affirming care for transgender minors to “child abuse.”
In comments sent to the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said families should be able to provide children with necessary care without interference from politicians.
“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,” she said. “No parent should face the agony of a politician standing in the way of accessing life-saving care for their child.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) on Monday issued an opinion in which he said certain types of medical care for transgender youth were considered “abuse” under Texas law.
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“The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly. I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans,” Paxton wrote.
“While you refer to these procedures as ‘sex changes,’ it is important to note that it remains medically impossible to truly change the sex of an individual because this is determined biologically at conception.”
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate reports of transgender children receiving gender-affirming care as child abuse, warning that “criminal penalties” would be dolled out to parties who fail to report.
While attorney general opinions are not law, agency leaders are mostly expected to follow them, and, since most agency heads are appointed by the governor, Abbott’s support for the opinion gives them less of a choice in the matter, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Earlier this month, the White House also weighed in on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban educators from talking about certain LGBTQ+ topics in primary schools.
“Every parent … hopes that our leaders will ensure their [children’s] safety, protection and freedom, and today conservative politicians in Florida rejected those basic values by advancing legislation that is designed to target and attack kids who need that support the most, kids from LGBTQI+ community,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing with reporters.
The same day, President Biden in a tweet called the bill “hateful” and told the nation’s LGBTQ+ youth “you are loved and accepted just as you are.”
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