Hospital sues Texas attorney general Ken Paxton for requesting out-of-state documents on trans people

Ken Paxton, pictured walking away from press.

A Seattle state hospital has sued Texas attorney general Ken Paxton after he allegedly asked for medical records regarding possible gender-affirming treatment for Texas under-18s.

Seattle Children’s Hospital filed a legal complaint against the Texan politician in December after Paxton allegedly requested documents of under-18s originally from Texas who he believed had undergone gender-affirming treatment.

The hospital argued that Paxton – a staunch Republican who has made a number of anti-trans moves in the past – had overstepped in attempting to obtain medical documents beyond state borders.

“Additionally, the demands represent an unconstitutional attempt to investigate and chill potential interstate commerce and travel for Texas residents to another state,” the complaint states.

Texas is among one of several states that have successfully enacted laws restricting or outright banning gender-affirming medical care for trans under-18s, including physically reversible puberty blockers.

The state law also bans gender-affirming surgeries for trans under-18s, despite no minors being permitted to undergo gender confirmation procedures anywhere in the US or the world.

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The hospital reportedly received Paxton’s request in November which asked the hospital to produce records identifying medication given to children who live in Texas, the number of under-18 Texans who had been given that medication, and treatment guidance documents relating to trans healthcare.

With it, the state also demanded information regarding the doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital who had treated trans children.

In a statement to HuffPost, Seattle Children’s Hospital spokesperson, Ashley Speller, said that, in reaction to the request, it complied with the law and issued the complaint to court to “protect private patient information relating to gender-affirming care services at our organisation.”

It argued in the complaint that not only was the request potentially unconstitutional, but that it could not respond to the letter under a law signed by Democratic governor Jay Inslee which aimed to protect those seeking gender-affirming care in Washington.

Ken Paxton made similar request into trans people’s driver’s licenses in Texas

This isn’t the first time Paxton, acting as attorney general, has demanded a worryingly identifiable list of trans people in a particular region.

In December 2022, the Republican reportedly demanded a list of every trans person in Texas, which included personal details, driving license information, and more.

In a request filed to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Paxton requested the “total number of changes from male to female and female to male” on driver’s licenses “in the last 24 months.”

No data was provided to the attorney general following the request, DPS said in a statement, adding that no such data exists or could be “accurately produced.”

Furthermore, the DPS claimed the request from Paxton’s office was not carried out through official channels – the reason for which was not given.

Human Rights Campaign legal director, Sarah Warbelow, said the request was “chilling” and that Paxton’s attempt to weaponize state agencies is “terrifying.”

“This development shows how far they’re willing to go in discriminating against transgender people,” Warbelow continued.