AUSTIN (KXAN)) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation Friday to “uncover whether ‘gender transitioning’ procedures were unlawfully performed on minor children” at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.
“It is now alarmingly common for fringe activists to use their positions in medicine and health care to force experimental, life-altering procedures onto children,” Paxton said in a press release, “Across the country, there are doctors and health care professionals who appear willing to sacrifice the long-term health of American children, all in service to the increasingly dangerous fad of ‘transgender’ extremism. It is deeply disturbing, and there is no place for it in Texas. Along these lines, there have been a number of recent reports about potentially illegal activity at Dell Children’s Medical Center, and this investigation aims to uncover the truth.”
KXAN reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for further information about these reports.
The hospital responded in a post on Twitter, saying that the hospital takes Paxton’s allegations seriously and that it prohibits surgery and hormone therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria in minors.
“We are conducting a thorough review of this situation,” the statement reads, “To the extent that care provided at our clinic may have been inconsistent with our organization’s position on this important issue, we intend to take appropriate action.”
KXAN has also reached out to Ascension Seton, who runs Dell Children’s Medical Center, with questions.
In the released “Request to Examine” paperwork from the Attorney General’s Office, the agency requests policy documents, providers to whom the hospital refers patients and hospital communications.
The full Request to Examine paperwork can be read below:
The request does not use the term “gender transitioning procedures.” It does ask the hospital for information about “gender-affirming care,” defining it as “any treatment, including any ranging from surgery to speech therapy, which supports a person in their gender transition.” Beyond that definition, it does not specify any treatments.
The provided documents are due by June 4, and will then be examined by the agency to determine if any laws were broken. Currently, gender-affirming care for minors is legal in Texas.
Paxton’s fixation on LGBTQ+ Texans
This is not the first time that Paxton has gone after LGBTQ+ Texas residents.
In 2021, Paxton announced a similar investigation into pharmaceutical companies that produce puberty-blocking medications, with no criminal case against those companies
In February 2022, Paxton released a memo calling gender transition “child abuse.” This led to Texas Governor Greg Abbott directing the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate a handful of Texas families.
Initial investigations by DFPS agents returned positive reviews of the families. Despite this, DFPS leadership continued the investigations. All of these investigations have since been closed, resulting in no criminal charges against the parents of transgender children, but it did drive them out of Texas.
It also resulted in a wave of resignations from the agency, some of whom testified that Abbott’s directive was a reason.
Paxton also stated that he wanted Texas to help defend Llano County against a lawsuit, which had previously banned books from county libraries. Some of these works included LGBTQ+ memoirs. A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Llano County to return the books to shelves.
After the SCOTUS decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Paxton said in a June 2022 interview with NewsNation’s Leland Vittert that he would “have to see” if a 1973 ban on same-sex intercourse could be defended in a challenge of SCOTUS’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas.
“I don’t know, I’d have to take a look at it,” Paxton said. “This is all new territory for us. I’d have to see how the legislation was laid out and whether we could defend it. If it’s constitutional, we’re going defend it.”
For LGBTQ mental health support, call the Trevor Project’s 24/7 toll-free support line at 866-488-7386. You can also reach a trained crisis counselor through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 800-273-8255 or texting 741741.