Texas AG And Gov Just Made It Illegal To Provide Medical Care To Trans Kids, All By Their Lonesomes
Texas AG Ken Paxton. Video screenshot.

For the love of God, Texas! Why are your leaders so bloody evil? Did you people see the movie Footloose and think the preacher was the hero?

Today's outrage is brought to you by Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott in a diabolical Texas two-step. See, last year the legislature failed to pass a bill criminalizing gender affirming care for trans kids. But this is an election year, and Paxton is getting primaried from the right by Rep. Louie Gohmert. And while Gohmert may be dumb as a stump, he does have the advantage of being not under indictment. So Paxton teamed up with Fort Worth Republican state Rep. Matt Krause, who sent him a query as to whether doctors and parents might be prosecuted under existing child abuse laws for providing medically necessary care to transgender children.

Turns out, they could! At least according to that motherscratcher Ken Paxton.


Paxton prefaces his legal "Opinion" with his entirely subjective opinion of gender-affirming medical care, writing, "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. No doctor can replace a fully functioning male sex organ with a fully functioning female sex organ (or vice versa). In reality, these 'sex change' procedures seek to destroy a fully functioning sex organ in order to cosmetically create the illusion of a sex change."

He then goes on to cite a bunch of outdated medical data and biased advocacy groups to support his conclusion that "There is no evidence that long-term mental health outcomes are improved or that rates of suicide are reduced by hormonal or surgical intervention." He takes no notice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Texas Pediatric Society, both of which support gender-affirming treatment for trans kids provided by competent, caring medical professionals.

Paxton concludes that both surgical and hormonal interventions constitute child abuse under Texas law, even going so far as to liken them to Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Not to be outdone, Governor Abbott raced to get his own kicks in on the state's trans kids. In a letter to the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and CC'd to the heads of the state's health, medical, education, and juvenile justice agencies, he cited to Paxton's opinion and ordered the recipients to "conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas."

And in case there was any confusion, he's ordering all mandatory reporters to LOCK HER UP parents who provide care for their trans kids. Doctors, too!

Texas law imposes reporting requirements upon all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse. See id. §§ 261.101(b), 261.109(a-1). There are similar reporting requirements and criminal penalties for members of the general public. See id. §§ 261.101(a), 261.109(a).

Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur.

So despite the legislature's refusal to enact this barbarity into law, the governor and the attorney general have just criminalized transgender health care for minors by fiat, effective immediately. Which means that every teacher, nurse, doctor, parent, therapist, and coach in the state is now legally obligated to file a child abuse report on every kid they know who is receiving gender-affirming care.

It's so, fucking unspeakably cruel. And that, as Adam Serwer says, is the whole point.

[Abbott Letter, via Dallas Morning News / Paxton Letter, via Dallas Morning News]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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