Texas Lawmaker Asks Company to Deal with Mastectomies, Puberty Blockers, Transition Counseling as Baby Abuse

In the eyes of some Republicans, Governor Greg Abbott’s heightened attention to gender transition has not quite made up for the death of the proposed bans that died in the legislature.

After the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) announced that it would treat underage sex reassignment surgery as child abuse, State Representative Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) asked the agency to include chemical procedures, mastectomies, and transitional treatments, including counseling.

“While genital reassignment surgery is an important part of early child reassignment surgery, it is not the only method used,” Slaton wrote in a letter to the DFPS.

He further asks if breast removal surgery, advice to confirm or promote a non-biological sex, and chemical procedures like puberty blockers are also considered abuse.

“If these methods depict child abuse, are they being held to a standard consistent with these life-changing and abusive surgeries? I think most Texans would be concerned if the DFPS decided that only “some” genital mutilation is wrong while other mutilations are condoned. “

The DFPS announced that it will begin investigating child sex reassignment surgery as abusive acts shortly after Governor Greg Abbott asked the agency to comment on the matter. Abbott’s letter and DFPS reply both mention genital surgery only.

While Slaton himself did not submit bills to address these proceedings, he repeatedly offered legislative changes to restrict them. For example, he proposed a change to exclude puberty blockers from a bill that would introduce a prescription drug austerity program. None of his amendments were accepted.

While Slaton’s reticent demeanor and individualistic voices made him an outsider in his own party during the regular session, he is not alone. Republican lawmakers tabled several bills in the regular session to ban gender change of children, all of whom died before a House vote, despite support for nearly 50 co-authors on certain bills. In the first special session that followed, support for a proposed ban grew to 75 co-authors.

Abbott has now solved the problem with a light touch. He refused to support legislative efforts without criticizing them and tacitly removed the issue from his priority lists and special sessions. Perhaps with a view to his upcoming election, Abbott has paid unprecedented attention from his office lately since he first publicly endorsed a sex reassignment ban on children during a radio interview last month.

The bills, which died during the regular session, would have banned surgeries and drugs designed to aid a child’s sex transition. Advice is also new to Slaton and the party.

Don Huffines, one of Abbott’s top contenders in the election, has beaten him repeatedly for withholding support for a legal ban on gender reassignment. In addition, Huffines recently criticized him for appointing James Younger’s advisor to several state bodies.

James Younger is the young Texan boy at the center of what is perhaps the state’s most iconic custody case. His mother wants to raise him as a girl, while his father insists that James present himself as a boy around him. James’ story inspired the earliest laws banning sex reassignment procedures for children in Texas.

While James’ mother said she is not seeking a physical transition for him, James is still attending a court-ordered consultation that his father describes as one-sided as it is in line with the mother’s ownership plan. As a result, the father claims, James only goes to counseling with his mother and thus presents himself as a girl.

Due to late child support payments and a refusal to comply with court orders, including counseling, a court recently granted James’ mother sole custody of almost all decisions. The only exception is physical sex reassignment, which still requires the father’s consent. Advice, however, lies solely with James’ mother.

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