Endocrine Society Speaks Out Against Texas Governor’s Anti-Transgender Directive

On Monday, February 21, the Texas attorney general issued a nonbinding legal opinion arguing that gender-affirming care falls under the state’s existing definition of child abuse and neglect. Following this, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a directive ordering the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to conduct investigations of any reported instances of Texas children being “subjected to abusive gender-transitioning procedures.” The governor’s directive cites the AG’s opinion, and also states that mandated reporters in Texas, have a legal duty to report instances of gender-affirming care under the state’s existing child abuse and neglect reporting law. 

The governor’s directive, as well as previous statements made by the Texas attorney general, reflect the continuous and widespread misinformation about gender-affirming care. Furthermore, it rejects evidence-based transgender medical care and will restrict access to care for teenagers experiencing gender incongruence or dysphoria. 

We encourage our members to use our transgender advocacy resources and stand firm by our members in Texas that continue to provide gender affirming care to their patients based on medical evidence, not politics.

In response, the Endocrine Society condemned Governor Abbott’s directive and called upon him to rescind this harmful policy. The ACLU and Lambda Legal also moved quickly to file a lawsuit against the state of Texas and Governor Abbott and his recent directive. The Endocrine Society has joined as a “friend of the court” or “amicus” along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, and other organizations to provide the court with background on gender-affirming care and puberty delaying medication. The Endocrine Society’s clinical practice guideline on gender dysphoria/incongruence, which is viewed as the standard of care, is highly cited.

On March 11, the district court judge granted a statewide injunction on the governor’s order, ceasing any and all investigations into transgender youth, their families, and healthcare providers who provide gender-affirming care. The injunction runs through July to provide time for the court to rule on the case.

We continue to monitor the situation in Texas and work with other groups such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and ACLU on reversing this policy. We encourage our members to use our transgender advocacy resources and stand firm by our members in Texas that continue to provide gender affirming care to their patients based on medical evidence, not politics. 

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