Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas Policy That Calls Trans Youth Healthcare 'Child Abuse'
This is good news for trans kids, but it’s not the end of the fight
Texas parents of transgender kids can breathe a temporary sigh of relief, thanks to a judge blocking Gov. Abbott’s policy that states gender-affirming care for trans kids as “child abuse,” at least for the time being. He called for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to intervene by way of investigations into families who supported their children’s medical decisions and body autonomy by undergoing regulated, medical gender-affirming care.
This action follows a lawsuit submitted Tuesday from the family of a teen girl who was among the first to deal with backlash from Abbott’s policy. Ironically, the teen’s mom, who works for the agency in charge of enforcing the new policy, sought out hormonal therapy and puberty-blocking medicines for her daughter and was put on leave from her job. The family was then visited by investigators.
Huffington Post reported that Judge Amy Clark Meachum of Travis County’s 201st Civil District Court ruled that the directive was unlawful since not only could the mother lose her job, but the family faces “imminent and ongoing deprivation of their constitutional rights, the potential loss of necessary medical care, and the stigma attached to being the subject of an unfounded child abuse investigation.”
Judge Meachum also affirmed that she’d be scheduling a hearing on March 11 to consider blocking the policy further.
The family named in the lawsuit has been reeling.
“We are terrified for [our daughter’s] health and wellbeing, and for our family,” wrote the unnamed mother in the declaration filed with the lawsuit submitted by American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal. “I feel betrayed by my state and the agency for whom I work.”
While in general, many were celebratory of the news, the ACLU warned that this can currently only be considered a “partial” victory.
“We appreciate the relief granted to our clients, but this should never have happened and is unfathomably cruel,” attorney Brian Klosterboer said in a statement. “Families should not have to fear being separated because they are providing the best possible health care for their children. The elected leaders and agencies of this state should not play politics with people’s lives. We will do all that’s possible to stop these abuses of power and ensure transgender young people can receive medically recommended treatment.”
During the State of the Union on Tuesday, President Biden disavowed the recent trans hate in Texas.
According to the Trevor Project, 82% of transgender individuals have considered taking their own life, and 40% have attempted the act. Gender-affirming practices can literally save kids’ lives.