Texas governor compares healthcare for trans kids to ‘child abuse’ in chilling attack

In a letter sent Tuesday (22 February), Abbott reminded the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that it is “responsible for protecting children from abuse” so must shield trans youth from treatment.

 

The Republican demanded the agency “to conduct prompt and thorough investigations of any reported instances of Texas children being subjected to abusive gender-transitioning procedures”.

Doctors and nurses, he said in the directive, could face jail time for failing to report such care and said parents and guardians should also incur criminal penalties for pursuing treatment on behalf of their trans children.

Abbott’s intervention signalled Texas‘ clearance intent yet to erase trans youth, with treatments such as puberty blockers, that researchers say is “life-saving,” being dubbed “monstrous” by the attorney general Ken Paxton.

 

On Monday, Paxton issued a 13-page legal opinion under the category “child abuse” providing public officials with a justification to hammer down on trans healthcare.

While an attorney general’s opinion does not carry the force of law and is just advisory, state officials are expected to take them into account in their decision-making.

“Sex-change operations and puberty blockers prescribed by kids is ‘child abuse’ under Texas law,” Paxton tweeted.

“These procedures are monstrous and tragic,” he tweeted before quoting his statement: “I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.”

Paxton said that “it remains medically impossible to truly change the sex of an individual because this is determined biologically at conception”, a claim that Abbott said he agrees with.

Paxton issued his opinion, which is a written interpretation of current law, after Republican Fort Worth representative Matt Krause asked him to weigh in on the issue.

 

Neither Paxton’s opinion nor the governor’s directive has any legal effect, but both amount to domineering efforts to tear down the rights of trans people in Texas.

“The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called ‘sex change’ procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law,” Abbott wrote in his letter.

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

“Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.

“As OAG Opinion No. KP-0401 makes clear, it is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilisation, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”

A spokesperson for DFPS said in a statement to local news outlet KCAN that the agency “will follow Texas law as explained in attorney general opinion KP-0401”.

“At this time, there are no pending investigations of child abuse involving the procedures described in that opinion,” the spokesperson added. “If any such allegations are reported to us, they will be investigated under existing policies of Child Protective Investigations.”

Activists decry anti-trans Texas governor and attorney general: ‘This is an absolute nightmare’

Across the US, dozens of bills have appeared in statehouse dockets all with similar aims: To deeply restrict the lives of trans Americans, from the sports they play to the healthcare they can access.

As much as overwhelming evidence shows that providing gender-affirming healthcare to trans youth is more beneficial than hurtful, Republican legislators have increasingly sought to ban treatments altogether.

Withholding gender-affirming healthcare from trans youth can lead to higher rates of anxiety, depression and suicide, studies have found.

This culture clash more or less came out of nowhere, with a wave of more than 100 anti-trans laws being proposed in early 2021, according to legislative tracker Freedom for All Americans. And this trend has continued to rip into 2022, with dozens already introduced.

 

While similar proposals were pitched by Republicans in the past, efforts in 2021 and 2022 to chip away at trans rights are now often more organised and slick, with bill names that claim to be promoting “fairness” in single-sex sports or “protecting” children.

But as activists stress, this noble-sounding language is a front to single out trans folk and feed into transphobia. After all, the American Medical AssociationAmerican Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics all support providing care for children experiencing gender dysphoria and have publicly opposed the push to restrict such healthcare options.

“This is an absolute nightmare,” tweeted Chase Strangio, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“What [Paxton and Abbott] are doing is terrifying,” they added. “They are scaring kids, their families and their doctors into believing they will be investigating if they affirm their trans children and patients.

“This will cause severe stress and anxiety, could limit medical care, will discourage parents from loving and supporting their kids and could lead to illegal investigations into families.”

I want to make clear because the article doesn’t that sex surgeries re not happening on minors for gender dysphoria.     Sex surgeries have happened on minors if there is an accident or a problem with the genitals.   No minor is having breast removed or penises changed.  Also puberty blockers are not new and they are not dangerous.   They have been proscribed for a lot of different medical issues.   Plus they are completely reversible by simply not taking them.   That is all that happens, a person goes through puberty later.   No what they are important for is so a trans kid doesn’t develop the features of an adult of the wrong gender.  No male wants female parts, no female wants to look like a guy.  It is incredibly hard to change these features once they are set.   Imagine being a young person watching your body changing daily into something horribly wrong for you.  But for a political party that keeps touting parents’ rights in schools and in book banning’s from libraries, now they want to remove parents’ rights when it comes to medical decisions for the child.  

 

4 thoughts on “Texas governor compares healthcare for trans kids to ‘child abuse’ in chilling attack

  1. Puberty blockers ARE dangerous. A person is SUPPOSED to go through puberty. Puberty blockers also have devastating side effects, one of which is sterility & the other is an inability to orgasm. I’m not making this up; this has been widely reported. That Jazz kid … will never have children & will never have an orgasm. What his/her mother did to him is definitely child abuse.

    Let the kids grow the F up & then let them make the decision to go trans if they want to.

    This whole thing about trans kids is being fueled by Big Pharma … get them on hormones & meds at a young age & they’ll be on them for their entire life. Not so much different than the ADHD scam (funny how you don’t hear about that anymore) & a generation of kids put on SPEED … cuz that’s what Ritalin & Adderall & other ADHD drugs are … SPEED. (My son was told he was ADHD because he was BORED in school. His idiot father put him on Adderall & he complained to me that he hated the feeling of the drug. So I told him to stop taking it. I know that my son wasn’t ADHD. It was just the trend at the time)

    Just like transing kids is the trend NOW.

    Leave the kids alone! Nobody is born into the wrong body! Teach your children to love themselves AS THEY ARE … if it’s truly body dysphoria, then they can deal with it when they are ADULTS.

    Nobody gets through puberty without feeling like they don’t belong in their body, their world, their life. But you are SUPPOSED to go through puberty.

    End of rant. Hope I didn’t upset you. If you want references, I can provide them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Polly you do not upset me, but you are wrong. Incorrect. I know you follow people who are anti-trans, some pretty adamantly and they are feeding you debunked information, misconstrued information or outright lies. I knew that was the first thing you were going to mention because we had talked about them before. Do you trust medical science? The NIH? I do, those people have the training and skills to understand peer reviewed studies. They say puberty blockers are safe. These people you are listening to are no different than the anti-mask anti-vaccine people who disregard the studies and data that the medical people promote and instead go for the emotional content of the opinion hosts.

      So I am going to address your points of contention. I am going to try not to be to deep in the medical tech and more with summaries. That is where everyone must use more care. Summaries are only as good as those writing them. I have seen summaries on Covid data that claim two different things. So I want to use verified experts who are trying to present just facts.

      First people are supposed to go through puberty. You have stated as a fact that no one is in the wrong body. You seem to think that you know more than all the medical researchers who disagree with you. The find that this is a significant problem for a sizable percentage of the population. Small but also a lot more than was understood. You are a traditionalist on this, it never was such a people before, we did not deal with it, it is just a fad that will go away. Incorrect. We have heard it before, and it was wrong then. History has shown that many cultures have had trans people and accepted them. The Native People accepted trans members of the tribes for one.

      If a child in the wrong body has to go through puberty they will be set for life with a body they cannot stand or accept. They will constantly have the emotional / mental stresses of being wrong for who they know they are. And they will then need surgery to change what is wrong for them. Every peer reviewed study says that preventing those permanent body changes prevents suicides and lifelong mental health issues. Think of every time you look in the mirror seeing a face with features that you know are not what you are. This is in answer to your let kids grow up and then decide. Often steps must be taken before kids become legal adults of it is too late. Parents are allowed to make life changing decisions for their kids in all other respects but in this which is known to save lives you would deny them their rights and the rights of the child.

      Risks of taking puberty blockers
      Puberty blockers are considered to be very safe overall.

      We are not sure if puberty blockers have negative side effects on bone development and height. Research so far shows that the effects are minimal. However, we won’t know the long-term effects until the first people to take puberty-blockers get older.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puberty_blocker

      Delaying or temporarily suspending puberty is a medical treatment for children whose puberty started abnormally early (precocious puberty). Puberty blockers are also commonly used for children with idiopathic short stature, for whom these drugs can be used to promote development of long bones and increase adult height.[6] In adults, the same drugs are used to treat endometriosis[7] and prostate cancer.[8] Puberty blockers prevent the development of biological secondary sex characteristics.[9] They slow the growth of sexual organs and production of hormones. Other effects include the suppression of male features of facial hair, deep voices, and Adam’s apples, and the halting of female features of breast development and menstruation.

      Puberty blockers are sometimes prescribed to young transgender people, to temporarily halt the development of secondary sex characteristics.[4] Puberty blockers allow patients more time to solidify their gender identity, without developing secondary sex characteristics.[5] If a child later decides not to transition to another gender the medication can be stopped, allowing puberty to proceed, as the effects are fully reversible.[10][11] Puberty blockers give transgender youth a smoother transition into their desired gender identity as an adult.[5]

      While few studies have examined the effects of puberty blockers for gender non-conforming or transgender adolescents, the studies that have been conducted indicate that these treatments are reasonably safe, and can improve psychological well-being in these individuals,[12][13][14] and an association has been found between puberty blockers and decreased lifetime suicidality.[10] A 2020 UK Department of Health and Social Care commissioned review found that the quality of evidence was of very low certainty for puberty blocker outcomes regarding mental health, quality of life and impact on gender dysphoria.[15]

      Adverse effects on bone mineralization and compromised fertility are potential risks of pubertal suppression in gender dysphoric youth treated with GnRH agonists.[13][16] Additionally, genital tissue in transgender women may not be optimal for potential vaginoplasty later in life due to underdevelopment of the penis.[17]

      Research on the long term effects on brain development is limited.[18][19]

      After what I have learned is a long loud pressure campaign the BNHS changed its information jsut slightly, but still recommends them.

      <

      blockquote>
      On June 30, 2020, the British National Health Service changed the information it displayed on its website regarding the reversibility of the effects of puberty blockers and their use in the treatment of minors with gender dysphoria, according to a report by BBC’s Woman’s Hour.[34] Specifically, the NHS removed “the effects of treatment with GnRH analogues are considered to be fully reversible, so treatment can usually be stopped at any time after a discussion between you, your child and your MDT (multi-disciplinary team),” and added “little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria. Although the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be. It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations.”[34]

      Just one more from a child’s hospital. https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/transgender-center/puberty-blockers

      Are Puberty Blockers Safe?
      Most experts, including our team, believe that puberty blockers are safe:

      The Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health support the use of puberty blockers for kids who want to delay or prevent unwanted physical changes.
      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved puberty blockers for children who start puberty at a young age.

      On the safety every hospital site I went to, every government medical site I went claimed they are safe and reversable. Some added that long term studies need to be done for the long term effect data. Bone density was addressed as inconclusive and treatable. Adults like me have low bone density and there are treatments for it including a once a year infusion I was looking into.

      Polly the idea that this is fueled by big pharma makes as much sense as covid was developed by big pharma to sell vaccines. It is making a conspiracy theory to justify your beliefs. You are not being rational when you say this. There are far more profitable areas for big pharma to be pushing than puberty blockers. Medical scientists say this is a real issue, that it is not made up, that puberty blockers are necessary parts of the treatment. I do not have a medical science background and I don’t think you do, so I will take the word of the majority of medical people that say that it is real, it is a problem, it needs treatment, and it shouldn’t be ignored and who far outweighs the small portion of anti-trans / anti-puberty blocker contingent that disagree.

      As for your son. Are there doctors that may misjudge or over prescribe, it has happened. You and your husband disagree on treatment. It is not for me to say who was right as I don’t know your son, his doctors, or your husband. But you clearly don’t like your ex so could that be coloring your judgement?

      I have addressed this with you before but for the benefit of anyone reading along, you’re saying it is just a trend is the same as when people claimed that being gay was just a phase kids were going through, they would grow out of it. They are just trying to shock adults and fit in. Normally this was pushed by older people and those with religious bents. Medical providers and medical peer reviewed studies disagree with you. How likely is it your right based on your feelings, or the medical professions are right based on the data? I would say the medical professionals. Everything you have said against the trans kids / people has been said against the LGB people 50 years ago. We both have heard them before, you and me. Anita Bryant pushed them and would be saying them against trans people today.

      OK I think I addressed all your points. If I missed something, reply with it and I will look it up. I think it is important to look at the facts and not the emotions to reach the reality of the situation. Be well.

      Like

  2. One more thing. Trans-therapy on children is often because they are attracted to the same sex & parents can’t deal with the fact that their kid might be gay or lesbian. So they tell themselves that their child was “born in the wrong body” & start transing them. It’s the new gay-conversion therapy. A boy can’t be gay & attracted to other boys if they’re really a girl! A girl can’t be attracted to other girls if she’s really a boy!

    Magical thinking on steroids.

    That said, I think this whole issue belongs OUT of politics. But of course, that’s impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Polly that is silly. Think of it, parents who are going to be anti- gay or lesbian are going to be even more anti-trans. Think of the majority of religious people that are the vocal push against LGBTQ+, the people burning books and pushing politicians to make laws based on their gods wishes. Those people say God doesn’t make mistakes. God wouldn’t make gay or lesbians because they are an abomination to him. He wouldn’t make someone in the wrong body because that would be saying that he made a mistake. So it is a phase, it is a trend, it is something the kids are doing to shock or rebel against their parents. We can simply force them back to normal. Or the always popular they are sick and just need to be made normal again, convert them.

      Supporting a child who is exploring or showing signs of gender distress is not an easy thing. It is a lot harder than having a gay kid. You can scare a gay kid into the closet a lot easier than someone who won’t wear the tradition gender hair styles or clothing. Every time the kid is outside the home people will notice. No way to hide it from the neighbors. No way to sweep it under the rug at church by not saying anything. So no parents are taking lesbians and making boys of them as you have said before. No one is using trans to erase lesbians.

      Yes it should be out of politics and go by unemotional medical science. Then again racism and bigotry drive politics. It riles up the base and causes outrage that fuels social media posts distracting for other things the right doesn’t want their base to notice.

      Like

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