Texas Gov. Greg Abbott being called a “monster” for latest attack on trans kids

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed state agencies to carry out investigations into the use of gender-affirming care for transgender youth, following an opinion issued last Friday from the state attorney general that the treatments constitute a form of “child abuse.”

The Republican governor referenced Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion, which states gender-affirming treatments like gender reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking meds “can legally constitute child abuse under several provisions” of state law, in a letter sent Tuesday to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

The agency, Abbott wrote in his letter, “is responsible for protecting children from abuse.” In a tweet, he added that it will “refer for prosecution any such abuse.”

A spokesperson for the DFPS told the Dallas Morning News that it “will follow Texas law as explained [by Paxton’s opinion].”

Abbott added that doctors, nurses, teachers and the general public are obliged to report such “child abuse,” and that failure to do so is a punishable crime.

The move is the latest attack on trans youth in Texas. Last October, Abbott signed a law banning transgender girls from playing on female sports teams in public schools. The state has also tried to restrict trans people from using their preferred gender restrooms.

To be clear, major medial institutions including the American Academy of Pediatrics do not agree with Paxton’s opinion. Some state and county attorneys have already said they will not follow Abbott’s order.

“As the lawyer who represents DFPS in civil child abuse cases in Harris County, I can tell you my office won’t be participating in this political game,” Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee tweeted.

Response to Abbott’s action can be summed up with one word: “monster.”