A Texas court on Friday blocked the state’s child and youth welfare agency from conducting child abuse investigations of three families who allowed their children to commence sex change treatments and procedures.
Travis County District Court granted a temporary restraining order against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating the parents of three transgender minors.
The families claimed in a lawsuit that they are providing their transgender children “medically necessary health care.”
But according to a legal opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, certain sex change procedures, such as “non-medically necessary, gender-based procedures or treatments on a minor,” could constitute child abuse under Texas law (pdf).
Such procedures include orchiectomies, hysterectomies, vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, and mastectomies.
One of the families suing the state said their child attempted suicide the day the directive became public, citing the “political environment” and being misgendered at school, according to court documents (pdf).
The minor, going by the alias Antonio, was later admitted to an outpatient psychiatric facility where the staff reported the case for possible child abuse.
Antonio was born a girl and “presented as a tomboy” until puberty. Since 2020, Antonio began to “socially transition” by using the “name, pronoun, and gender expression” of a boy, before commencing puberty blockers and hormone therapy in 2021 and 2022.
In his directive (pdf), Abbott noted that doctors, nurses, and teachers who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such “abuse” are required by law to report it, or they may face penalties.
Child protective services case workers opened investigations into each of the three parents for allowing their children to be prescribed sex change treatments, according to court documents.
The governor in his directive said that it is already against the state’s law to subject “Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning,” citing Paxton’s legal opinion.
This includes procedures that “can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen.”
Licensed facilities where “such procedures may occur” can also be investigated by the relevant state agencies, he added.
“There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted. [DFPS] has a responsibility to act accordingly,” Abbott said. “I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Texas, and law firm Baker Botts LLP later sued the state on behalf of the families to stop the investigations.
The lawsuit was successful and the court’s ruling on Friday blocked the DFPS from investigating the three families.
Former Trans Woman Questions Medical ‘Care’
One woman, unrelated to the Texas lawsuit, who “detransitioned” back to female as an adult, has questioned the so-called medical “care” she was getting and decided not to go through with a double mastectomy.
The woman, going by the pseudonym Cat Cattinson to protect her identity, said a doctor prescribed her testosterone without an in-person visit after they had been speaking “for about 30 minutes.”
“[The doctor] didn’t require therapy, no labs … and I went and picked it up the same day,” she said. “It was unbelievable even to me.”
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Cattinson described her many years of confusion and how she felt pushed by medical professionals and trans activists to declare herself as transgender before she was ready or else she might kill herself.
“I had heard from trans activists, and the narrative is that if you have gender dysphoria, if you don’t come out as trans and transition, then you’re extremely likely to kill yourself—there’s basically no hope for you. Transition is the only option,” she said. “And given that I already had so many psychological issues, I was just like, ‘OK, I’m going to give this a try.’”
Cattinson said she hopes that by speaking about her experience with doctors, trans activists, and the toll that transitioning and detransitioning took on her, she can help others going through something similar.