Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said any medical treatment of transgender minors is child abuse and said his office could prosecute parents of transgender children, as well as ‘compulsory reporters’ who fail to report not the medical treatment of transgender children to the state. Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged state officials to begin investigating any families who may be giving their trans children puberty-blocking drugs or hormones, or allowing them to undergo surgical treatments.
In a 13-page memo dated Feb. 18, written in response to a question from State Rep. Matt Krause (R – Fort Worth), Paxton wrote that, based on his office’s analysis, any type of medical treatment of a trans minor, whether sex reassignment surgery or puberty-blocking drugs, could constitute child abuse under Texas law.
Paxton’s argues that helping a child transition can cause physical and psychological harm and deprives the child of “the right to procreation”. Essentially, Paxton is borrowing from the argument against forced sterilization, to which he refers, as an argument against voluntary trans medical treatment.
However, no one believes that a child – or an adult – should be exposed to these treatments against their will. To the extent minors in Texas are receiving medical treatment for trans issues, it’s likely because they asked for it. Meanwhile, doctors in the United States largely agree that sex reassignment surgery should not take place until a patient is 18 years old.
But Paxton’s policy announcement isn’t meant to prevent surgeries, which for the most part don’t happen. It also attacks the use of puberty-blocking drugs and hormone treatments, which do start when transgender patients are still minors, and the effects are more easily reversible. Drug therapy is not equivalent to surgery, and it seems Paxton lumped them together in order to confuse the issue and undermine the legitimacy of any kind of transgender health care.
by Paxton Tweeter about his memo quits the game: “These proceedings are monstrous and tragic.” This is not a statement that means “Some parents and children may rush to medical treatment, some of which are difficult or impossible to reverse.” This is a complete rejection of transgender medical care, further evidenced by the memo’s concession that certain types of genital surgery are “medically necessary” when correcting genetic disorders or cancer.
The big threat comes at the end of the memo:
It is important to note that anyone who has “reasonable cause to believe that the physical or mental health or well-being of a child has been affected by abuse or neglect by any person should immediately report” as described in the Family Code. … [This] includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day care workers, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provide reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and detention or detention officers. correction for minors. Failure to report in these circumstances is a criminal offence.
This, apparently, is not just a friendly suggestion from the state attorney general. On Tuesday, Governor Abbott sent a memo to commissioners of the Department of Family and State Protective Services summarizing Paxton’s memo and directing the agency to investigate any parents found providing transgender medical care to their children. . It threatens criminal penalties for anyone who fails to report it to the government.
What about patients’ rights? And parents? Paxton’s memo argues that the “Texas legislature has provided no avenue for parental consent, and no judicial avenue exists for the child to carry out these procedures and treatments without parental consent.”
Apparently, it is impossible to consent to your child receiving medical care without the Texas Legislature passing a new law. It’s an interesting version of conservatism.