Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined 12 other state attorneys general in composing a letter, led by Tennessee, to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, “warning him against clamping down on speech critical of pediatric ​‘sex-change’ treatments.”

The letter was written in response to a letter to Garland from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association asking the Department of Justice to “censor and prosecute speech that criticizes permanent, life-altering procedures currently being done to children suffering from gender dysphoria.”

If this were to come to fruition, the AGs argue, it would take away constitutionally protected rights of parents, kids, and medical practitioners to speak out against the controversial practices of permanently damaging children’s bodies.

Paxton’s office explained that the U.S. attorney general should “defend American citizens and their Constitutional rights, and to stand up for freedom of speech, which includes the right to criticize procedures that permanently change our children’s lives.”

The letter says the state AGs firmly agree that anyone “engaged in violent crime or threats of violence should be investigated and prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.” However, they say what the medical associations are asking for infringes on constitutional rights.

“This broad request, and related comments by leaders in the medical organizations,” the letter explains, “indicate that they are interested not just in preventing violence but also in suppressing ideas with which they disagree.”

The AGs write that there are growing concerns regarding the treatment of the mental illness known as gender dysphoria that plagues a vast amount of the population. Instead of treating gender dysphoria like a mental illness, medical professionals are choosing to indulge it and support the permanent mutilation of a child’s body.

They also point out that a review by the Florida Medicaid Unit on puberty suppression, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures determined that there was “insufficient evidence” that such treatments are a “safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria.”

“Despite these past cautionary tales and recent radical changes in pediatric practices,” the AGs write, “the medical establishment asks you to forcibly eliminate criticism of the treatment regime for gender dysphoric minors.”

The AGs stated they would be interested in gaining clarification from the medical organizations regarding the “scope of their request,” but they accuse the medical organizations of preferring silence over a critical debate.

“Nothing matters more than protecting our children. We need to make sure we are doing that right,” the letter concludes. “The only way to obtain that certainty is through rigorous interrogation of current practices. Criticism must be welcomed, not silenced.”

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.

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