Hospital Official Bemoans “Heart-Wrenching” Decision to Discontinue Child Gender Transition Services
The decision came after the Texas Legislature approved a bill barring gender transitioning procedures and treatments for children.
The President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital, Mark Wallace, informed workers of his “heart-wrenching” decision to “modify the gender-affirming care” offered to children at the hospital in response to Senate Bill 14. The bill bars “procedures and treatments for gender transitioning, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria” and “the use of public money or public assistance” for the prohibited procedures and treatments.
Investigative journalist Christopher Rufo shared a screenshot of the email, which the Houston Chronicle authenticated. In the email, Wallace told recipients “that our mission is to create a healthier future for all children.”
SCOOP: Texas Children's Hospital CEO Mark Wallace announces plans to discontinue the hospital's child sex-change program, in accordance with new legislation. He calls the decision "heart-wrenching," defends child sex changes as "high-quality," and will refer kids out of state. pic.twitter.com/ab3FaLDNW5
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) May 24, 2023
The hospital’s decision came less than a week after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into Texas Children’s Hospital for possibly “actively engaging in illegal behavior and performing ‘gender transitioning’ procedures on children” in violation of existing Texas law. Paxton claimed the procedures “constitute child abuse under Texas law” and pledged his investigation would “uncover the truth.”
SB 14 prohibits “transitioning a child’s biological sex as determined by the sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous profiles of the child or affirming the child’s perception of the child’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s biological sex.”
The bill bars “a physician or health care provider” from “perform[ing] a surgery that sterilizes the child,” including a list of enumerated procedures like castration and vaginoplasty, for the purpose of transitioning the child.
SB 14 likewise bars mastectomies, the use of infertility-inducing drugs like puberty blockers and hormones, and the removal of “any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue” for the purpose of transitioning the child.
The bill makes exceptions for children who, with parental consent, seek procedures or treatments for precocious puberty and for children “born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development,” including those with chromosomal anomalies or those who possess “both ovarian and testicular tissue.”
SB 14 includes a temporary exemption for children continuing a course of prescription drug treatments for transitioning, provided those treatments began before June 1, 2023, and “the child attended 12 or more sessions of mental health counseling or psychotherapy during a period of at least six months before the date” treatment began. The bill requires weaning these children off their prescription treatments “in a manner that is safe and medically appropriate and that minimizes the risk of complications.”
SB 14 adds “perform[ing] a gender transitioning or gender reassignment procedure or treatment” to the Texas Occupations Code’s list of “prohibited practice[s]” for those “license[d] to practice medicine.” The Occupations Code, as amended, would mandate refusing to issue or renew a license to practice medicine and for license revocation for providing any of the prohibiting procedures or treatments.
On May 17, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a similar bill into law. The new Florida law expands the definition of “serious physical harm” of a child to include “being subjected to sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures as defined” by the law. The new Florida law also bars the use of state funds for these prescriptions or procedures.
The Texas bill passed both houses of the state legislature, which sent the bill to Texas Governor Greg Abbott on May 19, 2023. If signed, the bill would take effect on September 1, 2023.DONATE
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