In response to Abbott inquiry, Texas DFPS says gender-affirming surgery is child abuse


FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. Abbott, who faces a contested reelection primary next year, is pushing looser gun laws than he ever previously embraced and proposing unprecedented state actions, including promises to build more walls on the Mexican border. Similar scenes are playing out in campaigns in other red states including Arkansas and Idaho, where ultra right-wing challengers are tapping into anger among Republicans over Trump’s election loss and coronavirus-related lockdowns. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) responded to Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to determine whether genital mutilation through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse.

Although gender-affirming procedures in minors is rare — especially in Texas — DFPS determined the procedure would constitute genital mutilation if gender-affirming surgical procedures are performed. 

“Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse,” reads Commissioner Jamie Masters’ letter. “This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies.”

Most gender-affirming care for transgender children includes social transitioning and (sometimes) puberty blockers. 

Gender-affirming surgeries for transgender adults typically cost tens of thousands of dollars after years of psychiatric care, hormone therapy, “real life” test as the self-identified gender and more.

Ray Baca, GOP chair of El Paso, told KTSM 9 News on Monday that the move is an effort not of intolerance, but rather an effort to ensure serious surgeries are not performed on children.

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