Gender-Affirming Care Is Not Abuse

Gender-Affirming Care Is Not Abuse

February 24, 2022 | Evident Change

Transgender girl on couch near a window

Texas Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton have perilously twisted the definition of child abuse by asking Texans to report parents of transgender minors receiving gender-affirming medical care to child protection. This directive runs counter to the purpose of the child protection system, endangers children and parents, and unjustly targets transgender children and young people.

A child protection report raises the question of whether a child is in immediate danger of neglect or abuse. Gender-affirming medical treatment does not meet this definition. The medical community has established protocols to support caregivers and children in safely making these decisions.

Moreover, a report could potentially result in separation of a child from their family. That event alone increases a child’s chances for poorer educational, social, and economic outcomes.

Texas’s child protection agencies are already heavily burdened with reports that merit attention. This mandate would divert resources that could help children in legitimate danger.

Child abuse reporting has long been weaponized against communities historically targeted for oppression. The effort to remove parental rights—and to reject trans children’s innate sense of self—is another example. We implore Texans to refuse this call and affirm the belonging of trans children and their parents. Gender-affirming medical treatment is not abuse.