Texas Children’s Hospital — the largest pediatric hospital in the state — has announced it will no longer provide puberty blockers to children after state Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) labeled the practice “child abuse.”
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As CBN’s Faithwire previously reported, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has directed state agencies to undertake “prompt and thorough” investigations into so-called “sex change” procedures and hormonal treatments to determine if such actions constitute child abuse. Abbott’s directive came after Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion stating that performing “sex reassignment” procedures “can legally constitute child abuse under several provisions” of state law.
“After assessing the attorney general’s and governor’s actions, Texas Children’s Hospital paused hormone-related prescription therapies for gender-affirming services,” TCH said in a statement, per CNN. “This step was taken to safeguard our healthcare professionals and impacted families from potential criminal legal ramifications.”
The hospital also stated its mission is “to create a healthier future for all children, including transgender children, within the bounds of the law,” adding, “This step was taken to safeguard our health care professionals and impacted families from potential criminal legal ramifications.”
Paxton, for his part, celebrated the hospital’s decision Friday.
In his mid-February opinion, Paxton argued prescribing puberty blocking drugs and performing body-altering procedures on children can cause “mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning.”
He also warned such actions could cause “physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child.”
Paxton’s opinion came after Jaime Masters, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, issued a ruling in August 2021, stating it found some transgender procedures on minors are abusive.
“Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse,” Masters stated at the time. “Such mutilation may cause a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child’ [according to Texas law].”
“This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes, potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies,” he continued. “Generally, children in the care and custody of a parent lack the legal capacity to consent to surgical treatments, making them more vulnerable.”
As CBN News reported:
Some medical centers around the world are taking a second look at how to treat children with gender dysphoria.
In May 2021, a renowned Swedish hospital announced it will no longer prescribe puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors under the age of 16.
“The hormonal treatment of children and adolescents with gender dysphoria may consist of puberty-blocking treatment initiated at the onset of puberty, and cross-sex hormones initiated at the age of 16,” the Karolinska University Hospital located in Stockholm said in a statement. “These treatments are controversial and have recently become subject to increased attention and scrutiny both nationally and internationally.”
“This makes it challenging to assess the risk/benefit for the individual patient, and even more challenging for the minors and their guardians to be in a position of an informed stance regarding these treatments,” the hospital said.
The Karolinska University Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, with two major sites in the municipalities of Solna and Huddinge. The hospital network is the second largest in Sweden.
In 2020, CBN News interviewed Dr. Paul Hruz, a pediatric researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine. He said at the time parents should — at the absolute minimum — know that the science behind these kinds of treatments for dysphoric children is highly experimental.
“We really have no long-term data in using this intervention in children,” he explained. “We do have short-term studies that have very serious weaknesses and limitations.”
You can watch that full interview below:
As for Abbott’s directive in Texas, it’s not immediately clear what will happen.
Although the TCH has suspended its hormone therapies for minors, some prosecutors and county attorneys across the Lone Star State have indicated they do not plan to enforce the governor’s directive.
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