Howard Brown Health condemns recent attacks on transgender youth in Texas
On February 21, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion stating his belief that gender-affirming care for transgender youth constitutes child abuse under Texas law. Shortly thereafter, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) directing the state agency to investigate claims of such “abuse.” It is critical to note that AG Paxton’s opinion and Governor Abbott’s letter do not change current laws or create new laws in Texas. Neither the opinion nor the letter are legally binding. It is up to the courts to interpret Texas laws and the Constitution, and no court in Texas or anywhere else in the country has ever ruled that medically necessary gender-affirming care can be considered child abuse.
While these actions are not legally binding, they spread misinformation about gender-affirming care and further stigmatize and harm transgender youth in Texas, many of whom already have trouble accessing affirming care. As a provider of gender-affirming care, Howard Brown Health knows that gender-affirming care is life-saving and medically necessary. That is why medical professional associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of School Nurses, and the National Association of Social Workers—all agree that gender-affirming care is necessary and attempts by politicians to limit access to such care is discriminatory and dangerous. These actions in Texas also ignore evidence-based and peer-reviewed standards of care for the provision of gender-affirming care.
We stand in solidarity with transgender youth in Texas, as well as the organizations and providers that continue to support the transgender community amidst these attacks. To learn more, please see the resources below:
- ACLU of Texas statement
- Lambda Legal statement
- Equality Texas statement
- National Association of Social Workers Texas statement, with additional information on mandatory reporting
- If you or anyone you know is impacted by this opinion or false accusation, you can reach out to:
- Lambda Legal: https://www.lambdalegal.org/helpdesk
- ACLU of Texas: https://intake.aclutx.org/