A Texas judge halted Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigating the parent of a transgender child for child abuse, reports Courthouse News Service. Judge Amy Clark Meachum wrote that the plaintiffs “will suffer irreparable injury” if the agency were not restrained from enforcing a directive from Abbott that gender-affirming care constitutes child abuse. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had said that gender-affirming health care such as hormone treatments and surgeries constitute child abuse because it could lead to sterilization. An employee of the Texas child protective services agency and her husband found herself under investigation for abusing their 16-year-old daughter because she received treatment for gender dysphoria.
For the moment, the family and clinical psychologist Megan Mooney, who also was sued, are protected from the state taking any action against them. However, the agency was not enjoined from launching investigations into other families who have secured gender-affirming care for their children. The practice of gender-affirming care has been deemed “medically necessary” by the American Medical Association for lowering severe mental illness and suicide among transgender youth. The American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out against the governor's actions and said they threaten "the health and well-being of transgender youth.” President Biden issued a statement Wednesday calling Abbott’s directive a “cynical and dangerous campaign targeting transgender children and their parents.”