Texas transgender directive is “dangerous, discriminatory, and completely unacceptable”Health
Governor Abbott’s recent directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and other state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care as child abuse is dangerous, discriminatory, and completely unacceptable. His actions wrongfully target transgender youth, their families, and their support systems, under the guise of child protection.
Transgender children, like all children, deserve to feel safe and supported. To target those receiving health care — and their families or caregivers — is the true health risk. Pediatricians and the larger medical community have repeatedly stated that gender-affirming care is health care. This directive will spread dangerous misinformation about the transgender community. We urge Gov. Abbott to reverse his directive immediately.
This directive will also have negative consequences for Texas child welfare agencies and the families they are serving. At a time when Texas children in foster care are spending on average 18 nights in Child Protective Services offices or hotels, Gov. Abbott’s directive will most certainly divert resources away from the children who are already in the state’s care and in need of assistance.
First Focus on Children stands with LGBTQ advocates, the medical community, child welfare groups, and all others that are condemning these actions. We will always oppose state, federal, or administrative actions that infringe on the rights of children and their needs. All policymakers should affirm the needs and concerns of children rather than seek to invisiblize or disavow them.
We thank President Biden, Secretary Becerra, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services for making clear their position in support of children, and quickly issuing guidance to state-run child welfare agencies. First Focus on Children will continue to work to hold government officials accountable to ensure policies and services prioritize the well-being of children.