Texas Faces Backlash as it Makes Gender-Affirming Surgery on Minors Illegal

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has said that gender affirmation surgeries on minors could count as child abuse under state law. Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1646 confirming the declaration.

It clearly stated that providing puberty-blocking medication, hormone therapy, or transition surgery to a minor transgender Texan should be considered illegal and classified as child abuse. This particular bill targeted parents who support their transgender kids' desire to transition before they turn 18. Altering a child's genitals is only acceptable to repair an injury, illness, or disorder related to sexual development, the DFPS declared.

Governor Greg Abbott wrote to the DFPS asking to review the gender reassignment surgery performed on children. The letter stated gender affirmation surgery as genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery and constitutes child exploitation under the law.

Gender Dysphoria

In response to that, DFPS agreed to Abbott's statement and said that the mentioned procedure might not be considered abuse only if it is medically necessary for the child. Genital surgery is an option for treatment in adults, the American Psychiatric Association said. APA is a medical institution that recognizes and treats Gender Dysphoria, a condition defined by the mismatch between one's experienced gender and assigned gender.

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Senate bill 1946 is among several other bills that oppose the rights of the transgender community. It specifies that parents who support these procedures be sent to prison and the child be placed in foster care.

In a Senate committee hearing, Charles Perry, the author of the Bill, argued that the bill was necessary to prevent children from making irreparable decisions that might lead to serious consequences in the future. Giving them the drugs and treatments at that stage of life where they don't have the maturity to understand the irreplaceable effects of such procedures would be miserable and regretful, Perry said.

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The Senate has received a lot of backlash for the bill, especially from the transgender community. They consider it as a political strategy to gain support from the public, being a highly sensitive issue involving minors and an attempt to incite fear around vulnerable transgender children. Above 90% of LGBTQ members believe that such political tactics make a negative impact on their mental health, the report says.