State Watch

Texas AG: Some types of medical care for transgender children are abuse

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement that gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, including hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex reassignment procedures, are abuse. 

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R) wrote to Paxton to inquire about whether treatment for transgender youth could be considered child abuse. 

In an opinion released Monday, Paxton said, “There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted.”

“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.”

“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,” he wrote.

Paxton added that “the prevalence of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents has never been estimated, and there is no scientific consensus that these sterilizing procedures and treatments even serve to benefit minor children dealing with gender dysphoria.”

The United States has seen an increase in Republican-led efforts to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. There have also been efforts to prohibit transgender children, specifically transgender girls, from participating on a sports team that corresponds with their gender identity. 

Medical professionals, the LGBT community and transgender advocates have stated that if transgender children don’t receive gender-affirming health care, they are at higher risk to suffer negative mental health consequences and even suicide. 

Some studies have shown access to puberty blockers can decrease the risk of suicide in transgender teens, who are already at higher risk for suicide than their cisgender peers.

A spokespeople for the state Department of Family and Protective Services and Texas Health and Human Services told The Dallas Morning News that the agencies would be reviewing the opinion.

Paxton’s opinion comes as he is up for reelection in 2022 and faces tough competition from state Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.

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