Texas attorney general Ken Paxton launches further attacks against trans healthcare

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, who has repeatedly pushed back on trans rights in the states, speaks to people off camera while wearing a white shirt, yellow tie and dark suit jacket

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has once again waded into the Republican pushback on trans rights after he announced an investigation into a Texas hospital’s gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

Paxton announced a probe into “potential illegal activity” at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin on Friday (5 May).

The Republican attorney general said that the investigation would look into whether gender-affirming treatments were “unlawfully performed” on minors in the state. 

Paxton described such healthcare, which has been described as best medical practice by leading healthcare organisations, as “deeply disturbing” and said there was “no place for it in Texas”. 

He also alleged that there had been a “number of recent reports about potentially illegal activity” in the hospital, but did not elaborate further.

Paxton also likened gender-affirming healthcare to “child abuse” in a post on Twitter

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The hospital investigation is the latest attempt by Paxton and state governor Greg Abbott to pursue restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare in Texas.

The move comes as Republican lawmakers attempt to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth in the southern state.

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The GOP-controlled state legislature tried to push through a trans healthcare ban, but a scheduled House vote on the bill was delayed on Friday, amid fierce pushback from LGBTQ+ rights activists

Texas law doesn’t currently ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, but Paxton has sought to label it ‘child abuse

In 2022, Paxton released a non-binding legal opinion that characterised gender-affirming treatments as child abuse. The legal opinion prompted Abbott to order the state’s child welfare agency to investigate families of trans youth in the state

A Texas judge halted those investigations last year, but a mum of a trans teen told PinkNews that the probe had a devastating impact on her family

LGBTQ+ advocates rally together in support of trans rights as Republican lawmakers in Texas try to push back on the trans community and access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth in the state
LGBTQ+ advocates across Texas have spoken out against efforts by Republican lawmakers, including Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton, to attack trans rights. (Getty)

In December, it was revealed that Ken Paxton chillingly ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to compile a list of every trans person in the state, including personal details such as driving licence information.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and the constitutional protection of abortion rights, there was a concern the US top court would then come after LGBTQ+ rights, including same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual intimacy. 

Paxton responded to the news by saying he was “willing and able” to defend a gay sex ban in Texas should that come to pass. 

He also declared a school’s Pride event “illegal” while claiming staff members were violating laws against teaching “human sexuality” without parental consent.

Ken Paxton also deliberately misgendered US assistant secretary Dr Rachel Levine in posts on social media.

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