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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Launches More Attacks on Trans Community

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Launches More Attacks on Trans Community

Texas AG Ken Paxton

Paxton is investigating an Austin hospital to see if it provides gender-affirming care to children and objecting to the dismissal of charges brought against a trans protester.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is attacking the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender people, once again.

Paxton, a Republican, announced Friday that his office is investigating Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin to determine if gender-affirming procedures to uncover “were unlawfully performed on minor children,” as a press release from the AG puts it.

In a separate action, he’s objecting to the dropping of charges that were brought against a trans activist who was protesting at the state capitol this week.

Paxton has issued a document called a Request to Examine regarding the medical center. “The RTE seeks to determine whether any state laws have been violated or any misrepresentations have been made to parents and patients,” his press release says.

“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 the 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.”

However, these procedures are not experimental but are approved by every major medical association in the U.S. They include puberty blockers for adolescents, hormones for all ages, and surgery for adults. And they haven’t been outlawed in Texas, although a bill to ban gender-affirming care for minors is advancing through the legislature.

The medical center also issued a statement saying it doesn’t provide gender-affirming procedures to minors. This came in response to a video released last month by Project Veritas, a right-wing organization, that showed a social worker at the center saying it serves children as young as 8 or 9 who are experiencing gender dysphoria. That led two Republican members of Congress, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Chip Roy, to demand information from the center.

Dell’s statement reads, “As advocates for best possible care and treatment of minors. Dell Children's Medical Group takes seriously any allegations about the care provided in our clinics. Our organization prohibits surgery and prescribing hormone therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria for children. While our pediatric and adolescent medicines clinics do not provide these interventions, we do provide a safe and welcoming place for children to receive other forms of primary care and treatment, including treatment of illness and injuries, well baby visits, and school physicals. We are conducting a thorough review of this situation. To the extent that care provided at our clinic may have been inconsistent with our organization's position on this important issue, we intended to take appropriate action.”

The issue about the protester involves Adri Pérez, an activist with the Texas Freedom Network, who was arrested Tuesday while demonstrating against the proposed gender-affirming care ban in the Texas House. Pérez, who is transgender, “was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and disrupting a public meeting,”The Dallas Morning News reports. A municipal court judge dismissed the first charge, and the Travis County Attorney’s office dropped the others.

But Paxton blamed another Travis County official, District Attorney José Garza, for the dismissal of the charges. “Garza is a rogue District Attorney who is endangering the safety of law enforcement officers by signaling that violence against them will not be punished as long as an assailant shares Garza’s extremist political views,” Paxton said in a statement Friday. “His contempt for the law risks encouraging more violent acts, especially against law enforcement officers and legislators. Garza’s indifference to political violence is a threat to public safety and an attempt to intimidate those who disagree with his extremist agenda. I encourage the Legislature to act swiftly to rein in rogue prosecutors like Mr. Garza to protect the public. Furthermore, the Texas House should demonstrate that they will not be intimidated and immediately pass Senate Bill 14 to ban acts of child abuse such as so-called ‘gender transitioning’ surgical procedures and prescribing puberty-blocking drugs for minors.”

Garza, a Democrat, said his office had nothing to do with dropping the charges, the Morning News reports. “This is yet another example of state leadership commenting on a criminal case in Travis County and getting the facts wrong,” said a statement from Garza. “The Texas Attorney General is currently under felony indictment and under a federal criminal investigation. He should focus on his own legal troubles instead of interfering in the Travis County criminal process.”

Paxton is under indictment on securities fraud charges, and in a separate matter, the FBI is looking into allegations that he used his office’s power to benefit a campaign donor. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Paxton’s record of anti-LGBTQ+ actions includes issuing an opinion last year saying that allowing one’s children to receive gender-affirming care is child abuse. That led Gov. Greg Abbott to order investigations of trans children’s supportive parents. Most of these investigations are paused while a lawsuit against the order is heard.

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