Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have declared that providing gender-affirming health care to transgender youth is “child abuse,” despite the long-held guidance of the medical community that gender-affirming care is vital to their physical and emotional well-being.
Today we learned that the parents of a 16-year-old transgender girl are being investigated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)—potentially putting them at risk of having their daughter taken from them and placed in foster care. In addition, doctors, nurses, teachers, and others who fail to report instances of such “abusive procedures” to DFPS are subject to criminal penalties.
The assertions being made by these politicians may not be legally binding, but they are politically calculated, devastatingly hurtful, and a distraction from the egregious harm being done to children right now in the badly broken Texas foster care system.
Children’s Rights is in a unique position to recognize the hypocrisy of state officials who want to call affirming medical care child abuse while operating a child welfare system that every day inflicts abuse on children it is charged with protecting. That is why we filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on behalf of children in long-term care who are being subjected to repeated, destabilizing placement moves, overmedication, and physical and sexual assault.
If Governor Abbott and other Texas leaders really cared about children, they would focus their efforts on repairing the egregious harm they cause every day, rather than cruelly punishing children and families.
Transgender children—and the parents who love them—deserve better. They deserve to be recognized and supported, respected for the choices they make and loved for who they are. Most of all, they deserve to be together.
Act today by calling on Texas officials to protect the rights of transgender children and their parents and keep families together.