For the first time, we're hearing from the Dallas doctor who's suing Children’s Medical Center over a change in treatment for transgender youth.
Dr. Ximena Lopez founded the Genecis program in 2015, making it the first health care program in the Southwest U.S. for transgender youth.
After reportedly helping more than 1,000 transgender youth, she said Genecis was dismantled in November and new patients seeking puberty blockers or hormone therapy stopped being accepted.
It was a joint decision, according to UT Southwestern and Children’s Health, which ran the program together.
“The main goal of the program is gone if you take that away,” Lopez said.
In a statement in March, UT Southwestern and Children’s Health said after legislative hearings last year, "the Genecis brand became a lightning rod for the controversy over hormone therapy for gender dysphoria.” Gender dysphoria is described as the stress a patient feels when the gender assigned at birth is not the gender with which they identify.
In February, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion calling the prescription of puberty blockers "child abuse under Texas law.”
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“Claiming these parents are child abusers, it’s actually the opposite. It's quite the opposite,” said Lopez.
Lopez and her attorneys believe political pressure influenced the shutdown of Genecis and filed a petition seeking to depose university and hospital leaders.
A judge granted the request, but an appeals court temporarily halted the depositions.
On May 11, attorneys for Lopez filed suit against Children’s Medical Center and were granted a temporary restraining order.
Under the order, Lopez can resume any treatment she sees fit and accept new patients.
“Within 24 hours of getting the TRO we had 60 new patients call,” said Lopez. "We’re working around the clock to get them scheduled within these two weeks."
“I've realized that these families are in much more distress, really in a crisis mode, much more than what I’m used to before Genecis was disbanded,” said Lopez.
Her attorneys will ask for a more permanent ruling on May 26 at a hearing Paxton's office is expected to participate in after filing a petition to intervene Tuesday.
“I have a mixture of feelings. I’m infuriated. I’m sad. I’m disappointed in government officials because they’re supposed to look out for the most vulnerable,” said Lopez.
NBC 5 has been told that care for current patients has not been affected, only new ones.
UT Southwestern and Children’s Health said they can't comment on pending litigation.
NBC 5 reached out to Paxton's office for comment and has yet to receive a response as of this writing.