Texas Gov. Abbott calls for investigation into gender-affirming care as child abuse
Gender affirming procedures should be constituted as ‘child abuse,’ said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
The White House condemned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent directive for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate instances of gender-affirming care among minors.
- “The directive comes after the Office of the Attorney General confirmed that a number of so-called ‘sex-change’ procedures for minors already constitute child abuse under existing Texas law,” Abbott said in a Feb. 22 letter.
- “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,” Abbott said in the letter.
- He added that reporting these types of cases is the responsibility of “all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers,” and a failure to report could lead to criminal penalties.
Per BuzzFeed, as of now, there are no pending investigations involving child abuse as described by Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
- If any cases are reported to the agency, ”they will be investigated under existing policies of Child Protective Investigations,” the DFPS said, per BuzzFeed.
The White House responded with a statement to ABC News.
- “The Texas Attorney General’s attack on loving parents who seek medical care for their transgender children is dangerous to the health of kids in Texas and part of (a) much larger trend of conservative officials cynically attacking LGBTQI+ youth to score political points,” a White House spokesperson told ABC News.
Abbott’s letter follows similar statements made by Paxton on Monday, according to NBC News.
- Paxton was the one to originally call on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to halt medical care that can temporarily block puberty, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries.
- “I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans,” he said.
Per The New York Times, the letter from Abbott comes as early voting in primary elections begins across the state. Election Day is on March 1.