transgender rights

UTSW, Children's Health Clarify Positions, Options for Gender-Affirming Care

Both Dallas hospitals say they still provide a broad array of gender-affirming care to children and adults

UT Southwestern and Children's Health are clarifying their positions on gender-affirming care for transgender kids after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last month ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate such care as child abuse.

A state court judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the investigations ordered by the governor earlier this month.

The hospitals said in a statement Tuesday that in light of legal challenges they suspended hormone therapy for new patients last November and decided to focus on other gender-affirming services.

Both hospitals said clinics were never closed and that they are accepting new patients who still have access to a broad array of gender-affirming care, "particularly the psychiatric care considered foundational to gender transition and other front-line services necessary for evaluation of potential gender dysphoria."

The hospitals said while discussions play out, they remain committed to caring for patients of all ages and identities.

"UT Southwestern physicians are currently providing gender-affirming care to both youths and adults," the hospital said in a statement. "We continue to provide evaluations for gender dysphoria in youths, continue to provide psychiatric care for gender transition, and continue the coordination of these services."

Abbott's order came in February after Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton released a nonbinding legal opinion that labeled certain gender-confirming treatments as “child abuse.”

The Republican governor’s directive and Paxton’s opinion go against the nation’s largest medical groups, including the American Medical Association, which have opposed Republican-backed restrictions on transgender people filed in statehouses nationwide.

Civil rights and medical groups as well as parents of transgender children have been highly critical of Abbott and Paxton over the order, calling it cruel and an attempt to tear families apart.

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