Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton is declaring gender-affirming health care procedures for children as abuse, and he says his office will prosecute parents, doctors, and caregivers to see the procedures "halted".
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement that gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, including hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex reassignment procedures, are abuse.
Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R) wrote to Paxton to inquire about whether treatment for transgender youth could be considered child abuse.
In an opinion released Monday, Paxton said, "There is no doubt that these procedures are 'abuse' under Texas law, and thus must be halted."
"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."
"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," he wrote.
Paxton added that "the prevalence of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents has never been estimated, and there is no scientific consensus that these sterilizing procedures and treatments even serve to benefit minor children dealing with gender dysphoria."
The United States has seen an increase in Republican-led efforts to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. There have also been efforts to prohibit transgender children, specifically transgender girls, from participating on a sports team that corresponds with their gender identity.
Medical professionals, the LGBT community and transgender advocates have stated that if transgender children don't receive gender-affirming health care, they are at higher risk to suffer negative mental health consequences and even suicide.
Some studies have shown access to puberty blockers can decrease the risk of suicide in transgender teens, who are already at higher risk for suicide than their cisgender peers.
A spokespeople for the state Department of Family and Protective Services and Texas Health and Human Services told The Dallas Morning News that the agencies would be reviewing the opinion.
So yes, Paxton believes the full power of the state should be brought to bear in order to "save" kids from gender transitioning.
Meanwhile, Paxton remains under a federal bribery and corruption investigation, and he's apparently trying to defect attention away from this story this week.
Four former aides who reported Attorney General Ken Paxton to the FBI for alleged bribery are now accusing him of lying about his legal troubles while facing a tough reelection bid.
In a rare public statement on Monday, the ex-employees said “their preference was to remain silent while the wheels of justice turned.”
“However, in recent weeks, Paxton has made numerous false and misleading public statements that we feel obligated to correct,” said the former deputy attorneys general James “Blake” Brickman, J. Mark Penley, and Ryan Vassar and the agency’s former law enforcement director David Maxwell.
As Paxton seeks a third term as the state’s top lawyer, he faces three GOP challengers who are hammering him over the FBI corruption probe spurred by his former staffers.
Paxton has denied any wrongdoing. No federal charges have been filed.
In recent interviews with conservative media, Paxton said he doesn’t know the specific allegations against him and threw the blame back on his former aides, saying they are the ones who broke the law. The Republican also accused the FBI of infiltrating his office.
The former staffers say none of that is true.
“We confronted Ken Paxton about his and his agency’s corrupt and criminal conduct, and, when he would not abide by the law, we reported him to the FBI,” they said. “Paxton is under criminal investigation, not the whistleblowers.”
Paxton is trying to dodge bribery charges and wants to stay in office, seeing the governor's mansion in his future. If that road leads over the corpses of young Texan teens who thought it was better to take their own lives than the seek the care they needed because Paxton deemed it illegal, that's okay with this asshole.
Remember, Republicans do not care who their policies kill, because dead people can't vote for them anyway.