On Wednesday, President Biden released a statement condemning Texas Governor Greg Abbott for using existing state law to have child protective services investigate families who have children undergoing medical gender transition, such as cross-sex hormones or so-called puberty blockers.
Alongside his statement, Biden is instructing Health and Human Services actively fight back with federal action if it crosses a line into potential discrimination.
The statement from the White House accused the state of Texas of "attacking" transgender youth.
Biden said: "The Governor of Texas has directed state officials to open child abuse investigations into families simply because they have provided access to affirming care for their children. This is government overreach at its worst. Like so many anti-transgender attacks proliferating in states across the country, the Governor’s actions callously threaten to harm children and their families just to score political points. These actions are terrifying many families in Texas and beyond. And they must stop."
For context, it was last month that Governor Greg Abbott concurred with the opinion of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that subjecting children to transgender-related procedures and treatment qualified as "child abuse" under state law.
What Abbott did was use already existing precedent to compel the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate any reported instances of this happening in families and households.
The move caused ire among localities within the state already, but now it’s the Biden administration stepping in.
The White House statement links to a separate announcement from Biden's Department of Health and Human Services, which Biden says are now "putting the state of Texas on notice that their discriminatory actions put children’s lives at risk."
Beyond the condemnation of Texas by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, there’s a list of announced actions by the department in response:
- "HHS is releasing guidance to state child welfare agencies through an Information Memorandum that makes clear that states should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly can include access to gender affirming care;"
- "HHS is also releasing guidance on patient privacy, clarifying that, despite the Texas government’s threat, health care providers are not required to disclose private patient information related to gender affirming care;"
- "HHS also issued guidance making clear that denials of health care based on gender identity are illegal, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient’s gender identity;"
- "The Secretary also called on all of HHS to explore all options to protect kids, their parents, caretakers and families; and"
- "HHS will also ensure that families and health care providers in Texas are aware of all the resources available to them if they face discrimination as a result of this discriminatory gubernatorial order."
In summation as to both President Biden’s position and Secretary Becerra’s stance, they assert that expanding access to "gender-affirming care" for "transgender children" is the only feasible option. They accuse Texas of going after families with what state officials are doing.
It was on Wednesday that a Texas judge blocked the investigation by Department of Family and Protective Services within that state into one of their one employees, who has a child undergoing transgender related medical procedures.
The lawsuit brought forward by the ACLU and Lambda legal came as a result of the DFPS staffer asking her superiors the implications of Abbott’s directive as it applied to her own family. She ended up being placed on leave and being investigated by Child Protective Services, herself.
When it comes to the topic of transgenderism and how it applies to child custody – Jeff Younger lost his child for opposing the transition of his then 3-year-old – and local Antifa ambushed a North Texas University event featuring him.
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