The largest pediatric hospital in the U.S. announced that it has stopped providing experimental transgender procedures to children due to actions by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Last month, Abbott ordered all state agencies to treat transgender hormone drugs and “sex change” surgeries for minors as child abuse under state law. The Republican governor’s directive also ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate reports of Texas children undergoing “abusive gender-transitioning procedures.”
Paxton had declared in a legal opinion the day before that transgender procedures violate Texas statutes against child abuse.
In response, the Houston-based Texas Children’s Hospital said Friday that it will no longer offer the procedures, citing possible legal repercussions.
“After assessing the Attorney General’s and Governor’s actions, Texas Children’s Hospital paused hormone-related prescription therapies for gender-affirming services,” the hospital said in a statement. “This step was taken to safeguard our healthcare professionals and impacted families from potential criminal legal ramifications.”
“Glad to hear that today Texas Children’s Hospital halted their child-abuse procedures,” Paxton tweeted after the announcement.
The move came after UT Southwestern Medical Center shut down the state’s top “gender clinic” for children late last year amid weeks of protests by local parents and pressure from Republican officials.
The program, known as GENECIS, administered irreversibly damaging hormone-blocking drugs to children as young as 10 years old and made referrals for “sex change” surgeries. GENECIS claimed to have “impacted thousands of youth across the country” before closing in November.
There have been no clinical trials on the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or other “gender transition” procedures in minors with gender dysphoria, a mental illness caused by a so-called “gender identity” at odds with one’s sex. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved medical treatments for the condition.
Transgender hormone drugs are also linked to serious and potentially fatal side effects, including heart attacks, increased risk of stroke and cancer, sterilization, and psychological issues. “Sex change” surgeries, which have been performed on children in the U.S. as young as 13, cause lifelong mutilation. Studies show that as few as two percent of boys and 10 percent of girls with gender dysphoria experience the condition after puberty, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
ransgender genital mutilation surgery constitutes child abuse under Texas law, following a review called for by Abbott. Paxton also launched a probe in December into two pharmaceutical companies accused of illegally promoting puberty blockers for gender-confused kids.
The same day Abbott issued his order, Sweden formally recommended against hormone drugs for children with gender dysphoria, due to side-effect risks and “uncertain science.”