Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a formal opinion Monday saying performing certain "sex-change" procedures on children, and prescribing puberty-blockers to them, is "child abuse" under Texas law.
Paxton gave his legal opinion in a 13-page letter to Republican state Sen. Matt Krause, who serves as the chairman of the Committee on General Investigating in the Texas House of Representatives. Krause had previously asked the state attorney general if certain medical and chemical procedures on children constitute child abuse.
In his letter, Paxton noted certain procedures performed on minors such as castration, fabrication of a "penis" using tissue from other body parts, fabrication of a "vagina" involving the removal of male sex organs, prescription of puberty-suppressors and infertility-inducers, and the like are all "abuse" under section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code.
"When considering questions of child abuse, a court would likely consider the fundamental right to procreation, issues of physical and emotional harm associated with these procedures and treatments, consent laws in Texas and throughout the country, and existing child abuse standards," the attorney general wrote.
"There is no doubt that these procedures are 'abuse' under Texas law, and thus must be halted," Paxton said in a statement. "The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly. I'll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans."
Paxton's legal opinion on medical and chemical procedures performed on children comes after he opined in an October 2019 letter to DFPS, stating that the "transition" of James Younger—the biological male son of Jeff Younger—to a "female" through puberty-blocking drugs, among other things, was "abuse" under at least three definitions set out in the Family Code and that DFPS, therefore, had an independent duty to investigate.
As CBN News extensively reported, little James was in the middle of a legal battle between his parents, Jeff Younger and Anne Georgulas in Texas. The case made national headlines in 2019 after it was revealed the boy's mother intended to publicly gender-transition him into a girl against the father's wishes. She reportedly calls him "Luna" instead of his given name.
At the time, even the nine-year-old boy was reportedly conflicted about the proposed transition, too.
The #SaveJamesYounger hashtag went viral on Twitter in 2019 as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Paxton, commented on the little boy's case.
In August of 2021, Judge Mary Brown of the 301st Judicial District Court of Dallas County awarded Georgulas temporary exclusive control over James' primary residence, counseling, medications, education, and extracurricular activities.
However, Brown stopped short of giving Georgulas the exclusive right to have James transition into a girl.
Gov. Abbott: Sex Reassignment Surgeries on Minors Is 'Child Abuse'
Paxton's legal opinion also follows after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced in August of 2021 that performing sex reassignment surgeries on minors is a form of child abuse.
The governor received a report from Jaime Masters, commissioner of the DFPS. Masters, Abbott said in a statement, examined "whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse."
In her letter to Abbott, Masters affirmed it is child abuse.
"This surgical procedure physically alters a child's genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting harm to children's bodies," she wrote. "Generally, children in the care and custody of a parent lack the legal capacity to consent to surgical treatments, making them more vulnerable."
Masters did, however, note a handful of exceptions.
"It may be warranted for the following conditions, including but not limited to, a child whose body parts have been affected by illness or trauma; who is born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development, such as the presence of both ovarian and testicular tissue; or who does not have the normal sex chromosome structure for male or female, as determined through genetic testing."
She went on to state that failure to report suspected abuse within a timely manner could result in a Class A misdemeanor charge, which may include jail time.
The proclamation in Texas came as some Republican lawmakers around the country have sought to ban sex reassignment procedures for minors, though their efforts have faced pushback.
But just last month, Wisconsin Republican lawmakers proposed a bill seeking to prevent children and teens from undergoing reassignment surgeries. It would also give parents the legal right to file a lawsuit against a physician who performed such a procedure, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Proposed bills just like Wisconsin's have been filed in the legislatures of 15 states.
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