Texas made headlines in 2022 for its cruel treatment of transgender children and their families. Yet you may have noticed they're not showing up on our map. Here's why.
It's true— after introducing 16 anti-trans bills in 2021, this year Texas did not introduce new legislation. However, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) took an unprecedented action, issuing a letter to Texas state health agencies saying that gender-affirming medical care constituted child abuse. Because of this, Abbott argued, doctors, nurses, and teachers would be legally obligated to report parents who help their children get the medical care recommended by every major medical association.
Gregg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona in 2012. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
This has terrified Texas children and their families, who could be prosecuted for child abuse and lose their children. While a judge granted a temporary restraining order to stop investigations, the threat of prosecution lingers and many live with the reality of increasing stigmatization and national debates about their own lives.
The Texas Tribune | By Sneha Dey and Karen Brooks Harper
Adelyn — who stands tall at 5 feet, 5 inches and is outspoken in class — had been having panic attacks in school as she approached puberty. After she started seeing the doctors in North Dallas, the attacks stopped. But last week, the panic attacks started again when Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — seven days before the GOP primary election in which he’s being accused of not being conservative enough — ordered state child welfare officials to launch child abuse investigations into reports of transgender kids receiving gender-affirming care. Adelyn is terrified she will be forcibly separated from her mother. So great is her anxiety that she doesn’t want to sleep in her own bed.
BU Today | By Alene Bouranova
The letter calls for DFPS to investigate parents who help their children access such treatments, as well as licensed facilities that administer them. The letter also imposes penalties on any “mandatory reporters” like doctors, nurses, and teachers who don’t report instances of treatment to the agency, as well as on members of the general public. [...] If you’re wondering, is that all legal? you’re not alone.
Washington Post | By Elizabeth Sharrow and Isaac Sederbaum
Texas reveals how state legislatures are increasingly politicizing medical decisions in ways that institute government control over sexuality and gender. Texas also enforces one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation, a law that has been under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Both antiabortion and anti-trans policies that seek to deny access to medical care exert state-authorized control over gender and sexual autonomy.