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AG Paxton Vows to Issue Guidance Equating ‘Transgender Mutilation’ to Child Abuse

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Texas AG Ken Paxton speaking at CPAC. | Image from Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton is poised to issue an opinion on the legalities of transgender hormone usage and surgeries on children with gender dysphoria.

Paxton made the announcement on the Mark Davis Show this week.

“I think that opinion will come out in the next week or so,” Paxton told Davis on Thursday, December 2. “We’ve got some final edits that I know they’re working on and verifying, and by the way, that’s quicker than normal. The way that it normally works is usually we have a six-month deadline. It never comes out on day one because we have to do our research and we have to talk to anybody that will give us their opinion. We want to hear from all sides. We’re like a judge in this, not like the legislature. We are literally trying to understand what is the law and make sure that we get it right.”

The issue rose to the forefront of public discourse after the plight of Jeff Younger, the father of an 8-year-old boy, was publicized by the press.

As widely reported, Younger has been trying to prevent his ex-wife from having their son, James, change his gender from male to female.

“I clearly believe that what we have here is child abuse, and we already had told Department of Family and Protective Services that they should go after this,” Paxton said on the Mark Davis show. “They should prosecute it. We actually have started an investigation into looking at companies that sell, manufacture and distribute these puberty blockers because we think there are serious issues affecting a minor’s body at that age.”

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) issued guidance this summer categorizing ‘genital mutilation’ as child abuse.

“Transgender surgeries ‘will be promptly and thoroughly investigated, and any appropriate actions will be taken,’ stated TDFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters in her letter.

Examples of transgender surgeries include orchiectomies, hysterectomies, and mastectomies.

“We need to protect our children,” Paxton told The Dallas Express after the podcast. “Providing puberty blockers to young teens puts them at risk of infertility, heart attack, stroke, and other health concerns.”

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is intervening with an opinion reportedly because increased awareness around the issue drew their attention to it being a problem.

“These complications can alter the health of Texas children for life,” Paxton said in an interview. “This is child abuse and should not be tolerated.”

On his podcast, Davis pressed Paxton about why it has taken so long for his office to take action. Paxton blamed the legislature.

“My role in the process is to give a legal opinion of what the law is, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Paxton said. “We’re trying to be very thorough. We’re trying to answer the question so that we don’t make any mistakes. We always try to do that because this is a really important issue, but the legislature could have addressed this. They failed to even get it into committee. It seems like one of those issues that the legislature should have taken seriously.”

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