Following Gov. Greg Abbott’s order for state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care as child abuse, Texas Children’s Hospital, the US largest pediatric hospital, announced late last week it would no longer offer gender-affirming treatment for transgender or nonbinary youth.
The hospital wrote in a statement on Friday it would stop the hormone-related prescription treatments for gender-affirming services to comply with the governor’s directive and to protect its medical staff and the families of young patients from criminal legal ramifications.
Following the hospital’s announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was glad that the child-abuse procedures in the hospital were halted.
The hospital said that its mission is to create a healthier future for all children, including transgender children, within the bounds of the law which would be impossible after Abbott’s order late last month threatened with criminal penalties to be doled out even to parties who fail to report instances of minors receiving gender-affirming care.
In his opinion that came right before the order was issued and which is not legally binding, Texas AG Ken Paxton stressed that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.
He noted that these procedures cannot be referred to as ‘sex changes’ since it’s medically impossible to truly change the sex of a person because that’s determined biologically at conception.
Abbott’s and Paxton’s views have been denounced by the White House and several Texas district attorneys have said they’ll not prosecute the families of trans youth.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued last week new guidance clarifying that making gender-affirming care readily available and accessible to minors is a responsibility for the child welfare agencies to protect transgender youth.