Texas is among a growing number of Republican-led states that have passed laws banning irreversible surgeries and other procedures on children who identify as transgender.
After evidence surfaced suggesting that one hospital in Austin is defying that prohibition by performing so-called gender transitions on children as young as 8, state officials are getting involved.
According to an undercover investigation by Project Veritas, a social worker at the hospital reportedly confirmed that the facility sees “patients starting as young as 8,” adding: “It’s not something that we want to gatekeep and require someone to, you know, come see us 10 times before it’s prescribed.”
In a letter to Dell Children’s Medical Center, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested information and access to the facility as part of a probe into its actions.
He went on to lament that it “is now alarmingly common for fringe activists to use their positions in medicine and health care to force experimental, life-altering procedures onto children.”
Such doctors, Paxton argued, “appear willing to sacrifice the long-term health of American children, all in service to the increasingly dangerous fad of ‘transgender’ extremism, concluding that there is “no place” for such behavior in Texas hospitals.
Citing “a number of recent reports about potentially illegal activity at Dell Children’s Medical Center,” he is requesting relevant documents by May 30. Specifically, the letter asks for information regarding the age of patients approved for such treatments, how much counseling occurs before such treatments are approved, and whether there have been any complaints.
BREAKING: I am launching an investigation into Dell Children's Medical Center regarding gender transitioning of minors. Gender transitioning minors is child abuse, and child abuse will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/WOXqssBQ1i
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) May 5, 2023
For its part, the hospital claims it “prohibits surgery and prescribing hormone therapy, including puberty blockers, for the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.”
Paxton is not the only state official to demand proof of its compliance with Texas law, though. At least two Republican lawmakers — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Chip Roy — are also seeking additional information.
The two legislators penned a joint letter assailing “junk procedures” being performed on children who identify as transgender.
“Studies show that virtually all children eventually grow out of this stage,” they wrote. “Numerous European countries including Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, once considered world leaders in gender experimentation, now heavily restrict access to these procedures, only allowing the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones if strict eligibility requirements are met and if it occurs in a research setting.”