A Texas judge has blocked a child welfare inquiry of a transgender girl’s parents for giving her medical treatment related to her gender affirmation. Republican Governor Abbott had branded the treatment as a case of child abuse and gave directives for the investigation.
Travis County District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum went against Abbott’s directive for a probe. The Texas Judge said the family was being deprived of their basic constitutional rights, a possible loss of essential medical care, plus the stigma of being investigated for child abuse, which the judge termed unfounded.
Texas Judge Meachum’s restraining order requires the Dept. of Family and Protective Services to immediately halt all investigations till March 11. A hearing has been set then on an appeal for broader enforcement barring the enforcement of the Governor’s directive against any other family in Texas.
The adolescent girl was designated as a male child at birth. She has since identified as a female. She took hormone therapy and medications that delayed her puberty, as detailed in the suit brought by the parents of the girl.
The mother of the teenager works for the DFPS, which is investigating her family. She was forced to go on leave following the governor’s directive as per the lawsuit filed on behalf of the family by Lambda Legal and the ACLU.
The DFPS has on a February 22 directive by Greg Abbott opened at least 3 inquiries into child welfare. The Republicans ordered an investigation into cases where children underwent procedures for sex change.
Texas Judge Opined That Republican Governor’s Directive Would Cause Immense Harm To Family
Abbott cited a legal opinion by Ken Paxton, the Texas AG, who concluded that any medical treatment to support transgender children in changing their gender was child abuse. The Attorney General’s opinion was non-binding.
Abbott, the DFPS, and DFPS commissioner, Jaime Masters, have been named defendants in the case. The Austin lawsuit states that no other state considers providing medical treatment to help transgender transition as child abuse.
Mental health and medical professionals say that providing support for transition helps in averting depression and suicidal tendencies.
The Texas Judge detailed the damage the investigation ordered by the Republican Governor would do to the family.
President Biden denounced Greg Abbott’s directive as dangerous and cynical.