Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Jaime Masters confirmed that performing a transgender surgery on a child constitutes sexual abuse. Masters called it "genital mutilation of a child" in a Wednesday letter, reported Daily Caller.
"Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse," she said. "Such mutilation may cause a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child.'"
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot referenced Master's prior comments, which wrote, "this surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies. Generally, children in the care and custody of a parent lack the legal capacity to consent to surgical treatments, making them more vulnerable."
She said that the surgical procedures might not constitute abuse when they are medically necessary: for example, if a child has had body parts affected by illness or trauma, if a child is born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development (like ovarian or testicular tissue), or if the child "does not have the normal sex chromosome structure for male or female as determined through genetic testing."
Master's letter added that a doctor, teacher, nurse, day-care employee, or individual who has "cause to believe" that sex change surgeries abused a child must personally report their suspicions within 48 hours to DFPS. "Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both."
Abbott pointed out that Texas already outlaws female genital mutilation of children, writing in a Friday letter, "presumably that also constitutes child abuse."
"Subjecting a child to genital mutilation through reassignment surgery creates a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child,'" wrote Abbott. "This broad definition of ‘abuse’ should cover a surgical procedure that will sterilize the child, such as orchiectomy or hysterectomy, or remove otherwise healthy body parts, such as penectomy or mastectomy."
The governor also said it would need to follow through and "conduct prompt and thorough investigations of the child’s parents, while other state agencies would be obliged to investigate the facilities they license."
Abbott announced in October 2019 that the Texas Attorney General’s Office and DFPS were looking investigating the case of James Younger, a 7-year-old child at the center of a national controversy over transgender children, reported Daily Caller.
James Younger’s mother claimed he was transgender and had previously expressed to his parents that he wished he were a girl. She claimed the child’s gender identity was female and that he wanted to be called "Luna."
Video footage appears to depict the first time 7-year-old James Younger told his father, Jeff Younger, that his mother said he is a girl. "Who told you you’re a girl?" asked Jeff Younger asked.
"Mommy," a child said.
A Texas jury initially decided in October 2019 that the child’s father, Jeff Younger, could not stop James Younger’s social gender transition to a girl. However, Judge Kim Cooks of Texas’s 255th district ruled shortly after that both parents would have joint guardianship over the child.