Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s new directive that orders the investigation of instances of children undergoing gender-affirming procedures, which he called “abuse,” continues to face widespread backlash, including by five district attorneys who penned a letter, calling such investigations “un-American.”
Dallas County D.A. John Creuzot, Travis County D.A. José Garza, Bexar County D.A. Joe Gonzales, Nueces County D.A. Mark Gonzales and Fort Bend County D.A. Brian Middleton also said jointly signed letter that they “will not irrationally and unjustifiably interfere with medical decisions made between children, their parents and their medical physicians.
“We want to assure our residents with transgender children that they are safe to continue seeking the care their children need,” the letter continued. “We will not allow the Governor and Attorney General to disregard Texan children’s lives in order to score political points.”
Abbott’s directive also faced backlash from the White House, with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying in a statement to the Dallas Morning News, “Conservative officials in Texas and other states across the country should stop inserting themselves into health care decisions that create needless tension between pediatricians and their patients. No parent should face the agony of a politician standing in the way of accessing life-saving care for their child.”
“There are efforts in some states … designed to target and attack the kids who need support the most,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press conference, addressing both the Texas directive as well as Florida legislation that bans the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. “LGBTQI+ students are already vulnerable to bullying and violence just for being themselves.”
Actor Elliot Page, one of Hollywood’s most vocal trans members, is also condemning the directive. In a statement to Variety, he said, “I am horrified by the inhumane and downright dangerous declarations by the Texas Governor and Attorney General. Trans youth deserve gender-affirming care and to be able to live their true, authentic selves without fear and oppression. I stand with trans youth and their families.”
Abbott’s directive, which is not a law, was issued in a letter to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services this week, called gender affirming procedures “child abuse,” and orders “licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses and teachers” to report instances of children receiving gender affirming procedures including hormone replacement therapies.
The letter also threatens “criminal penalties for failure to report.”