ACLU Sues to Stop Texas from Investigating Parents Who Seek Transition Surgeries for Children
( National Review )
The American Civil Liberties Union and its Texas chapter filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on Tuesday seeking to bar the agency from investigating parents who seek gender transition surgeries for their children.
The lawsuit was filed in response to a recent order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration, which classified gender-transition as child abuse following a months-long review. The “child abuse” assessment applies to hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and sex reassignment surgery in the state of Texas.
Abbott then directed DFPS to “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.” He noted that many of these medical interventions can cause irreversible damage in children, including “sterilization, mastectomies, removals of healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”
“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,” Abbott specified.
The plaintiffs targeted Abbott as well as DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters and DFPS in the lawsuit, which argues that the governor’s order violated state law, exceeded his constitutional authority, and infringed on the rights of transgender youth and their parents.
Plaintiffs include the family of a transgender child, the mother of whom works at DFPS, and a licensed psychologist who has objected to the reporting requirement imposed on her occupation by the state, which she says will compromise her confidential relationship with clients.
Many Republicans such as Abbott view gender-transition procedures as a form of child abuse, given that kids who undergo the procedures often haven’t reached an age of reason that allows them to assess the long-term repercussions of their decision or decipher whether their gender dysphoria might be ameliorated through less-invasive treatments such as talk therapy.
The ACLU, however, and members of other organizations dedicated to transgender advocacy often phrase such procedures as “life-saving healthcare” and accuse Abbott and others of endangering gender-confused youth.
“These efforts to cut off and criminalize necessary health care for transgender minors are in direct conflict with the recommendations of medical professionals and have nothing to do with what’s best for trans youth,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for trans justice with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a press release. “They may be escalating, but these attacks are not new. Trans youth need you to take the fury you have over what’s happening in Texas and share it with lawmakers in every state that is trying to make it harder for trans youth to survive.”
Texas has led the charge on enacting measures to counter the increasing social contagion of gender-transitioning among children. In December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched a probe into two pharmaceutical companies that allegedly manufactured and sold costly puberty-blocking drugs that lack FDA approval to treat gender dysphoria for children who say they are transgender.