Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced this week that performing sex reassignment surgeries on minors is a form of child abuse.
The governor made the announcement Thursday, after receiving a report from Jaime Masters, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Masters, Abbott said in a statement, examined “whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse.”
“As you have described, this surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies,” the DFPS stated in its Wednesday letter. The agency made exception for surgeries it deems “medically necessary,” including procedures to correct what it calls “medically verifiable genetic disorders of sex development.”
Abbott said the agency’s ruling was effective immediately, meaning doctors, nurses, teachers, daycare employees, and other professionals who work with children are now required to inform DFPS within 48 hours if they have reason to believe a child has or may undergo gender-confirming surgery.
In accordance with child abuse laws, those who do not report can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. DFPS will also now be duty-bound to investigate parents and medical practitioners who perform the surgeries.