Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot (D), joining four other district attorneys in the state, announced that his office will not prosecute families whose children receive transgender youth care, in direct opposition to a recent announcement from Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) and state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) that the state will open child abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender affirming procedures.
“We will enforce the Constitution and will not irrationally and unjustifiably interfere with medical decisions made between children, and their parents, and their medical physicians,” the statement reads, referring to the announcement as both “un-American” and “a continued onslaught on personal freedoms.”
Earlier this week, Paxton said in a statement that some types of gender-affirming health care for transgender youth is “abuse.”
Paxton said that hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex reassignment procedures “are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted.” He said that “there is no scientific consensus that these sterilizing procedures and treatments even serve to benefit minor children dealing with gender dysphoria.”
“The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly. I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans,” he said.
He added: “While you refer to these procedures as ‘sex changes,’ 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.”
Abbott later issued an order requiring state agencies to open child-abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender-affirming procedures.
“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 said.
Last year, Texas lawmakers made clear that they would consider legislation that would make providing gender-affirming care tantamount to child abuse.
A bill sponsored by Senator Charles Perry would make “administering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of” gender reassignment surgery or puberty blockers a criminal offense and violation of the state’s child protection laws.
Studies show transgender teens are more likely to be subjected to violence in high school and have higher rates of suicide. A recent study showed that transgender adults with access to puberty blockers as teens were less likely to have suicidal thoughts.
“After adjustment for demographic variables and level of family support for gender identity, those who received treatment with pubertal suppression, when compared with those who wanted pubertal suppression but did not receive it, had lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation,” the study, published in Pediatrics, noted.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.