Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) took the cruel measure of compelling the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to conduct investigations into the use of gender-affirming care for transgender children. The directive, which ignores federal law and best practices in child welfare and medicine, paves the way for transgender children to be removed from loving homes. In response, Sharita Gruberg, vice president of the LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
These politically motivated attacks are unconscionable attempts to block access to medically necessary care for transgender youth, harm supportive and loving families, and criminalize doctors who provide best-practice care. No court has found that gender-affirming care constitutes child abuse. In fact, Gov. Abbott’s efforts contradict evidence-based guidance from all relevant major medical organizations—including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association—which confirm that gender-affirming care is medically necessary for transgender youth.
Gov. Abbott’s actions—in addition to a bill he signed into law in October that bans transgender students from participating in school sports that align with their gender identity—serve only to instill fear and create a hostile environment for transgender youth, families, and providers across the state. They also take place within a harmful national landscape, as state legislatures introduce hundreds of other bills attacking the very existence of transgender children. Unfortunately, these kinds of detrimental policies will likely exacerbate existing mental health disparities, bullying, and harassment that transgender youth already encounter. Gov. Abbott must withdraw this dangerous directive before it further endangers the well-being of Texas children and families. Rather than mount attacks on some of the most vulnerable people state governments represent, lawmakers should focus on implementing evidence-based policies that support all Americans, including transgender children and their families.
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