Texas governor moves to criminalize gender-affirming procedures for minors

Greg Abbott
Posted at 12:21 PM, Feb 23, 2022

AUSTIN, Tex. — The governor of Texas has directed Family and Protective Services in his state to begin investigating gender confirmation procedures “child abuse.”

Greg Abbott sent a letter to the DFPS this week.

In the letter, Abbott enclosed an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in which Paxton says hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgeries “must be halted.”

Paxton goes on to say these medical procedures “when performed on children, can legally constitute child abuse under (…) the Texas Family Code.”

The Texas attorney general has called the procedures “experimental” and says minors are too young to consent to this type of medical care and that they will suffer “mental or emotional injury.”

However, guidance from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Psychological Association says that these procedures are medically necessary for transgender youth, citing science-based research.

One study by the APA shows that transgender youth who receive gender-affirming hormones have a lower risk of attempting suicide and mental illness.

Under the new directive, Governor Abbott wants the department to investigate not just parents, but doctors, nurses and teachers as well if they don’t report causes of “such abuse.”

He also cites the Texas Family Code and says facilities that perform gender confirmation procedures may also be investigated.

According to the ACLU, more than 100 bills attacking transgender people have been introduced in state legislatures since 2020.