On Wednesday, district attorneys who represent five of the largest counties in Texas said that they would not be following the directive to consider gender-affirming procedures for transgender youth as “child abuse.”
The move would defy a push from the state’s attorney general and governor to stop the treatments for children.
GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandated that the state’s child welfare agency assess gender-affirming procedures as “child abuse” just the day before the district attorneys announced they would be defying the order.
Abbott’s directive would possibly hold legal consequences for both the parents of a child who is expressing transgender thoughts and any teacher or authority who interacts with a child in this case.
The district attorneys have argued that Abbott’s order, as well as the legal opinion handed down by Attorney General Ken Paxton, which is the basis for the order, constitute “an egregious invasion of privacy.” They said, “We will enforce the Constitution and will not irrationally and unjustifiably interfere with medical decisions made between children, their parents, and their medical physicians.”
The district attorneys expressing this sentiment represent over 5 million people, including those who live in cities of Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Sugar Land, and Corpus Christi.
Regardless of the DAs’ statement, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Texas child welfare agency will be able to follow the order from Abbott and launch its own investigations into gender-affirming care, but the agency would be required to prove its case to a judge who would not necessarily be bound by Abbott’s or Paxton’s directives.
In the five counties represented by those DAs, however, criminal prosecutions will not be allowed to proceed against parents of transgender youth who have received treatment.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES