Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
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Texas Children’s Hospital, the nation’s largest children’s hospital, will no longer offer transgender medical procedures for children, according to the hospital’s CEO Mark Wallace. The decision will place the hospital in compliance with legislation, Senate Bill 14, which passed in a vote mainly along party lines on May 11. The legislation will take effect on Sept. 1 once it is signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, who has signaled he will do so.
Under the legislation (pdf), procedures and treatments for gender transitioning, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria that are intended to transition a child’s biological sex, will be banned.
Such procedures include those that sterilize children, such as castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, and vaginoplasty, as well as drugs that induce temporary or permanent infertility, or block or delay normal puberty.
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In a memo to staff shared on Twitter, Wallace said the bill has “clear and direct programmatic implications for our patients, families, faculty, staff, and care teams” adding that over the next few months, the hospital will “modify” its “gender-affirming care to comply with the new law.” The CEO said the hospital will work with patients and their families to find alternatives for gender surgeries and hormone therapies out-of-state, and will “continue to offer psychological support and any form of care within the bounds of the law.”
“The transition we will embark on is going to be immensely heart-wrenching, but we will lead through this adversity and navigate these next steps together with grace, love, and compassion like we always do,” Wallace said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference in Austin, Texas, on March 15, 2023. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)‘Painful’ Decision
Wallace noted that as the largest pediatric health care provider in the nation, “being unable to serve and support these children and families the way we have in the past is painful.” “It is difficult for me, the In-Chiefs & Chairs, executives, faculty, staff, and care teams to know that this is where we find ourselves,” he continued. The Epoch Times could not verify the authenticity of the memo and has contacted Texas Children’s Hospital for further comment.
In a statement to Houston Public Media, a hospital spokesperson said the hospital is not canceling any current appointments.
The memo from Wallace comes just days after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into Texas Children’s Hospital over claims that it provided gender transition-related care to minors, despite stating last year that it would stop. Abbott previously issued an order asking state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care as child abuse.
“I’ve been clear that any ‘gender transitioning’ procedures that hurt our children constitute child abuse under Texas law,” Paxton said in a statement released May 19.
The attorney general noted that recent reports indicate that the hospital “may be unlawfully performing such procedures” and that his office is working to “uncover the truth.” A whistleblower claimed the hospital continued to secretly perform transgender medical interventions on minors despite the announcement last year, including one procedure on an 11-year-old girl just three days after its announcement.
“I am committed to investigating any entity in our state to ensure that our children are protected. Though many unhinged activists compromising the healthcare field think otherwise, children are not to be treated as science experiments. Doctors and hospitals should not be pushing mutilative and irreversible ‘gender transitioning’ procedures that will negatively impact innocent children for the rest of their lives,” Paxton said.
Paxton is also investigating Dell Children’s Medical Center over “unlawful behavior” related to gender transitioning procedures.
Senate Bill 14 includes exemptions such as in cases where treatments are needed for the purpose of normalizing puberty for a minor experiencing precocious puberty, or if a child was born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development, among others.
Republicans have argued that the legislation is needed to protect children from making potentially fatal life-altering decisions and have pointed out that there is no high-quality scientific evidence suggesting that “gender-affirming” procedures help children overcome gender dysphoria.