Abbott goes back on the attack against trans kids and their families

Bullies are cowards.

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered Friday on a recent promise to use his political weight to try to halt medical interventions for transgender children, which are considered standard of care for adults. He wants state officials to redefine reassignment surgery — which is very rarely used for children — as a form of child abuse.

The governor said he intended to craft his own approach after state lawmakers failed a second time this year to pass an array of laws that would penalize health care providers for providing and parents for seeking gender affirming care and curtail transgender children’s medical and educational rights.

Abbott’s new plan came in the form of a letter to the state agency tasked with protecting children from abuse. Abbott asked the director of the Department of Family and Protective Services to “please issue a determination of whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse.”

The term “genital mutilation” is traditionally used among human rights workers to refer to a procedure for young girls that prevents them from experiencing sexual pleasure. Abbott — who does not have a medical background — reframes the definition, stating as fact that “subjecting a child to genital mutilation through reassignment surgery creates a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child.’”

If the child protection officials ultimately determine these surgeries to be a form of child abuse, Abbott goes on to say, DFPS would be duty bound to investigate a child’s parents, and other state agencies would have to investigate medical practitioners who carried out the surgeries.

See here for the background. The good news is that as offensive and hurtful as this is, it may not actually amount to much.

[M]edical experts say gender affirming care for transgender children rarely, if ever, includes use of the surgeries — orchiectomies, hysterectomies and mastectomies — Abbott cited in his letter Friday to DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters. Most care for transgender children includes social transitioning and puberty blockers.

Experts also took issue with Abbott’s language in the letter, which repeatedly referred to gender confirmation surgery as “genital mutilation.”

Andrea Segovia, Transgender Education Network of Texas’ field and policy coordinator, said the move by Abbott is a continuation of Republican Texas leaders bullying marginalized children.

“It’s literally the harshest language possible, because he wants a reaction from his side,” she said. “And they can gain supporters in that of like, ‘Oh, that sounds awful. Yeah, we shouldn’t be doing that to our minors.’”

Equality Texas released a statement criticizing Abbott’s letter.

“This is nothing more than another political attempt to stigmatize transgender people, their loving families, and the healthcare providers who offer them lifesaving care,” CEO Ricardo Martinez said.


Texas doctors and advocates see Abbott’s letter as more of a political move than as having much of an impact on gender affirming care as it’s currently practiced in Texas.

“That just sounds like something to placate the base, but it doesn’t really do much of anything,” said Seth Kaplan, president of the Texas Pediatric Society.

Segovia agreed.

“This is not a cause for alarm,” she said. “Our organization does not want community or parents or anybody to think that this is a letter saying that medical sort of appointments and anything like that should stop.”

One would hope that if this request needs to be approved by actual medical professionals before it can be implemented, they would be doctors first and put their medical knowledge and ethics above crass political motives. That’s far from a sure thing, of course, but at least it’s a consideration. This is also a reminder that the reason Abbott is doing this is because Democratic quorum-busting actions, in the regular session and now, have thwarted the bills that would enshrine this crap into law so far. The fight matters. Mandy Giles has more.

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9 Responses to Abbott goes back on the attack against trans kids and their families

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    If this is bullying, is it also bullying for school districts, employers, and the federal government to try to force everyone to get experimental vaccinations?

  2. Ross says:

    Jason, the Covid vaccines are not experimental.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    Ross, an IND is in effect for the vaccines available now. That is Investigational New Drug. The fact sheets provided by the FDA also clearly state the vaccines are investigational and not approved by the FDA for any purpose. That is the facts.

    Now for the semantics. Is investigational different from experimental? Both imply seeking evidence to draw a conclusion. Both imply uncertainty.

    I have been emailing the FDA asking if coercion to get a vaccination under an IND is not a violation of the Common Rule. They replied twice, with avoidant answers that were basically links to the fact sheets and other documents I already read. I have once again asked for someone higher up to explain this to me. If they fail to do so, my ruling is that the FDA is part of the Big Lie.

    There is a better vaccine on the horizon. The Nova Vax has the best efficacy, it is safer, and it has a stable protein that doesn’t mutate with the virus, making it able to prevent infections from variants. I saw some anti vaxx nitwit called Gert Vanden Boesch a couple months ago, saying that the specificity of the vaccines were going to breed variants, and that it would be called a pandemic of the unvaccinated. I thought he was full of it, but wow, he was right. What is scary is that he said that the mRNA would then render our best defense from other vaccines, useless. I wonder why they are pushing everyone to get these mRNA vaccines like Moderna, which NIAID partly owns. NIAID is the institute of Fauci, the charlatan of our times.

  4. Manny says:

    Jason, you are persistent with your disinformation. When people who spread such are banned from Twitter and Facebook, they have no other place to go.

    May you Q god bless you.

    “On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older”

    “The COVID-19 vaccines received emergency use authorization based on interim data that showed they were safe and effective for only about three months. For full approval, the FDA has at least six months of efficacy data to review — and that means combing through and analyzing an enormous amount of information.”

    “(The mRNA vaccines delivered efficacy rates of 95 and 94 percent against the original coronavirus strain in Phase 3 trials, as compared with 96 percent for Novavax in its first trial, and now 90 percent against a mixture of variants.”

    Jason, please stop spreading disinformation, you could be responsible for the death of people that may believe you.

  5. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, I am not spreading disinformation. The COVID vaccines are IND, and the fact sheet from the FDA describes them as investigational.

    Those are the facts. One problem is that two thirds of the people who got the vaccines, are, like you, unaware that EUA is not approval.

    The latest information on Nova Vax is that it has higher efficacy, less side effects, and they used a protein that is stable as the virus mutates. That is not disinformation, but, as we saw with the mRNA vaccines, information may change as it becomes used in the wider population.

  6. C.L. says:

    If Dr. Hochman was on Twitter, he’d have been banned by now. Instead he plies his trade on this blog as well as Letters to the Editor at


  7. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L., I understand that you support censorship, and totalitarianism, and the billionaires at big tech who are living it up, but the facts that I have told you are out there, for you to make up your own mind.

  8. Manny says:

    Jason, why did you get vaccinated?

    Here I was hoping to sit and partake of popcorn while awaiting the demise of the unvavaccinated.

    Or maybe bicyclists playing chicken with cars.

    Have to settle for car sos.

  9. Pingback: State follows through on Abbott’s attack on trans kids – Off the Kuff

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