Texans are forcing an awakening among some of the state’s public servants to the dangers posed to children by hormone manipulation and surgical mutilation. Still, there is a “deep state” element committed to stalling efforts to protect children from these unproven procedures.

“Effing bull poop.” Those words were written by an employee of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services this February. It was that employee’s reaction to a directive to investigate instances when children suffered medical child abuse.

Since 2016, much has come to light about how the federal bureaucracy is actively using taxpayers’ money to further their own interests and resist citizens. But such problems are not unique to the federal government.

In this article, Texas Scorecard will review the history of how public servants in the Lone Star State have allowed children to remain at risk from these abusive medical procedures and how, despite grassroots pressure, the Legislature has resisted moving to protect Texas children. Last year, as grassroots increasingly pressured Gov. Greg Abbott to take action, he issued a directive for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate incidents where children undergo hormone manipulation and surgical mutilation. DFPS is the state agency that houses Texas Child Protective Services (CPS).

That directive triggered a pushback that has helped expose a deep state at work in our state bureaucracies, diametrically opposed to Texans and apparently committed to keeping our children at risk to these abusive medical procedures.

Background
In Part 1 of this series, Texas Scorecard examined reliable scientific papers and testimony on the known and unknown risks of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. Ostensibly, these procedures were turned to in response to a mysterious rise in gender dysphoria, yet it was reported in the British Cass Review that “diagnostic overshadowing” occurred, where other symptoms were ignored and patients were driven straight to so-called “gender affirming” treatments.

Multiple reports across the Western world show that these unproven procedures do not appear to be a viable solution to the problem of gender dysphoria. Neither should such procedures be taken lightly due to their associated risks (including incontinence, cancer, osteoporosis, and blood clots) and, in some cases, their permanence.

The known and unknown risks of these procedures has led to a movement to protect children from these risky procedures.

Also seldom discussed in the establishment media is the buyer’s remorse of those who follow through with these procedures. Communities continue to grow both on and offline of individuals who regret opting to permanently alter their bodies.

All of this raises serious questions of whether these medical services should even be available.

While Florida and the United Kingdom are moving toward protecting children from such dangerous options, they remain at risk in the Lone Star State.

James Younger
In 2019, alarms blared with the national coverage of James Younger, the then 9-year-old boy whose mother—Anne Georgulas—sought to have him undergo abusive medical procedures because she saw him as a girl, not a boy, and called him Luna. From the time he was 2 years old, Georgulas—who has admitted she’s not James’ biological mother—told him he was a girl and made him dress like one.

James’ father, Jeff, disagreed with Georgulas forcing this upon their son. The two divorced and have since waged war in the courts, with their son’s mental and physical health at stake.

Texas Scorecard covered the James Younger story in our 2021 documentary “Saving James.” It’s important to note where the James Younger situation is now. This September, a Dallas judge ruled against Jeff Younger, saying Anne Georgulas can move James anywhere in the continental United States without his permission.

In August 2019, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the Younger situation. On October 23, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tweeted that the “matter of James younger was being looked into” by Paxton and DFPS. No results have since been forthcoming. Neither the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature nor Abbott took definitive action to protect James or other children from these medically questionable procedures during the past two state legislative sessions. Abbott complained the odds of such legislation passing the Republican-controlled House was “nil.”

During the 2021 regular legislative session, State Rep. Matt Krause (R–Haslet) authored proposed legislation House Bill 1399, which sought to ban these abusive procedures for children, except for rather specific situations, and prohibit liability insurance from protecting doctors who perform such surgeries on minors from lawsuit damages. The Republican-controlled House never voted on it.

“I don’t know why we met so much resistance in the Texas House,” Krause told Texas Scorecard. “I filed that same gender modification bill every special session [in 2021]. At least the first two special sessions, I believe I got the 76 signatures to show that this is something that we needed to have passed. It wasn’t an issue of not having support on the floor.”

We asked Krause if the speaker of the House (currently Republican Dade Phelan) blocked his efforts to get this legislation passed. While he didn’t explicitly blame Speaker Phelan, he did note how much power he wields. “I do know the speaker has a lot of influence on who are committee chairs, [and] who the Calendars Committee are.” The Calendars Committee in the House schedules bills for floor votes.

Last summer, frustration with the lack of movement on this issue appeared to force Abbott to set in motion a chain of events that revealed some of the major players in Texas wanting to keep children exposed to the gaping maw of the abusive medical procedures of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation.

The Battle
It was a cloudy, rainy day in Dallas on July 19, 2021. Abbott was being interviewed by radio host Mark Davis on Dallas-Fort Worth radio station KSKY. The topic was protecting children from these risky procedures. Abbott teased “another solution” he’d announce soon. Davis pressed for specifics. “When that solution does make itself known, will the end result … [be] that crazy parents and crazy doctors will not be able to try to turn girls into boys and vice versa in the state of Texas?”

“Yes,” Abbott promised.

On August 6, he unveiled his “solution.” He sent a letter to the head of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Commissioner Jaime Masters. Abbott, who appointed Masters as DFPS commissioner in August 2021, asked her in his letter if chopping off a healthy child’s body parts is child abuse. Five days later, DFPS answered. They said yes, it is child abuse.

A flurry of activity followed.

State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City) sent his own letter to DFPS that week. He asked them if other procedures advertised as “gender-affirming,” such as hormone manipulation, are also child abuse. “The clarifications I seek is whether or not, in your opinion, the following also constitute child abuse: Mastectomies for the purposes of affirmation of a gender different than their biological gender; chemical transition procedures through puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones; and the mental preparations by psychologists and the instruction often given to minors for the purpose of psychological transitioning and the ultimate goal of genital mutilation of minors in Texas.”

DFPS did not reply immediately. On August 23, State Rep. Krause fired off a letter asking Attorney General Paxton if child sex mutilation surgeries are child abuse. He gave Texas Scorecard the background that led to his writing Paxton.

“If we don’t get this done legislatively, is there anything we can do to at least maybe get clarity on the issue, and then maybe stop some of these procedures … until the legislature could come back in and do something?” he asked. “A lot of people said, ‘Well, it’s already child abuse under Texas statutory code.’ Others would say no, it’s not. We were just looking to get a little clarity from the AG about what the current status of the law was.”

Months of finger-pointing followed.

Commissioner Masters replied to Slaton on September 3, “I will await the opinion issued by the Attorney General’s office before I reach any final decisions on the matters you raise.”

In December, Abbott blamed Paxton for the fact that nothing had been done yet, saying he’s the one holding up action to protect children. Paxton fired back that he was working on his opinion, and blamed the Legislature and Abbott for not passing a law.

This same year these letters were flying, a court filing claims a 16-year-old boy under the pseudonym “Mary Doe” told his parents he is transgender. His mother, known under the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” is a DFPS employee. This information will factor in later, as a lawsuit is approaching to block these movements to protect children.

On February 18, 2022, weeks before the Republican primary election, Paxton finally issued the attorney general opinion on Krause’s question: “Performing certain ‘sex-change’ procedures on children, and prescribing puberty-blockers to them, is ‘child abuse’ under Texas law.”

“There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted,” Paxton wrote. “The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly.”

Days later, Abbott jumped into the fray again. He fired off a letter to DFPS Commissioner Masters directing the agency “to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances” of “sex-change procedures.”

For the moment, it appeared the wheels were finally turning to protect Texas kids from these abusive medical procedures.

Then, from within DFPS itself, came a new roadblock.

Texas’ Deep State Strikes Back
It was reported last month that more than 2,000 employees of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) had quit in protest of these efforts to protect children.

But this rebellion from this particular state bureaucracy that is supposed to protect Texas families and children began months earlier.

On March 1, 2022, after Abbott’s letter to DFPS Commissioner Masters, a lawsuit was filed in the 353rd District Court of Travis County against Abbott, DFPS, and Masters. The goal of the lawsuit was to stop investigations of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation of children.

According to the court filing, the plaintiffs included someone from within DFPS, using the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” and her family. This is the same “Jane Doe” whose child “Mary Doe,” according to this filing, had a year before told his mother he was transgender and had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. After that diagnosis, and upon doctors’ recommendation, he was prescribed with “puberty-delaying medication and hormone therapy to initiate puberty consistent” with that of a female.

The filing claims that the same day Abbott sent his letter to Commissioner Masters, Jane Doe “communicated with her supervisor at DFPS to seek clarification of how the Abbott Letter would affect DFPS policy.” A day after her inquiry, she “was informed that her family would be investigated in accordance with Governor Abbott’s letter to determine if Jane Doe and John Doe had committed abuse” by “affirming” her son identifying as a girl, and providing him with hormone-manipulating medications. The next day, the lawsuit filing states a DFPS investigator came to the Doe home to interview the family. Then came the lawsuit filing on March 1.

On May 13, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled the investigations into abusive medical procedures performed on children could continue, but the “Jane Doe” family would be exempt. The court also mentioned that children cannot be removed apart from court action.

That leads us to the reported mass resignation within DFPS. Having failed to stop these protective measures from occurring statewide, the battle shifted to keep the “Jane Doe” family from being investigated. In August, an amicus brief was filed in alliance with “Jane Doe” by 16 “current or former” DFPS employees to keep the temporary restraining order in place, shielding her from accountability. Nine identified themselves, while the rest had their identities withheld. This brief claimed more than 2,000 of the agency’s 12,000 employees resigned in protest of Abbott’s February letter.

Texas Scorecard sent an open records request to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), seeking the numbers of DFPS employee resignations from January 1 to September 13 of this year. For comparison, we also requested the number of resignations for the same time period in 2018. DFPS’ response showed a 71 percent increase this year as opposed to four years ago. From January 1 to September 13, 2018, DFPS reported 1,642 “separations,” as compared with 2,814 during the same time period this year.

The lawsuit and amicus brief raised questions about what was occurring within the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). In June, Texas Scorecard sent multiple open records requests to DFPS. Among the records we requested were communications in DFPS Commissioner Master’s possession about State Rep. Slaton’s email to her, Krause’s letter to Paxton and his reply, as well as Abbott’s directive and discussions about how to enforce it.

Initially, DFPS chose to appeal everything to Attorney General Paxton on July 7 in an attempt to withhold records. Seven days later, they chose to only appeal the requests pertaining to Slaton’s letter, Paxton’s reply to Krause, and Abbott’s letter. Included in their appeal was our request for communications Commissioner Masters had that contain the keyphrases “gender reassignment surgeries,” “gender reassignment surgery,” “sex change,” “gender-transitioning procedures,” “gender transitioning,” and/or “gender affirming.”

As for the rest of our June requests pertaining to this matter, DFPS wrote to the attorney general that “the Department will either release the responsive information or will notify the requestor that the Department does not have information responsive to the request.”

The released records included more than a thousand pages of email communications within the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. A number of the emails were requests for clarification on how to enforce Abbott’s directive to investigate incidents where children undergo surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. Others communicated clearly that Abbott’s directive was a top priority.

But there were also emails showing a deep state insurgency within DFPS solidly against protecting children from these abusive medical procedures.

“Can we be forced to do this? This is an infringement on civil liberties [REDACTED],” wrote DFPS employee Shaun Santiago in a February 24 email. “We have trans workers here at DFPS, what kind of message are we sending to them?”

In another email that same day, he wrote, “I have told my boss I will resign before I RTB on a family whose child is transitioning.”

“This is Texas now? Because this is BS. Sorry not sorry. Really???” wrote DFPS employee Emma Menchaca in a February 25 email.

“Effing bull poop,” wrote DFPS employee Amanda Martinez in a February 28 email.

There seemed to be concern about DFPS employees spouting off on social media as well, as multiple emails instructed employees not to post about it. “Everyone you need to stay off of social media with any opinions based on the following,” wrote DFPS employee Maria Terry in a February 25 email to staff members. “We will be investigating these cases. This will get messy.”

The investigation did not stop there, nor did DFPS attempts to block it. On September 14, following the filing of the August amicus brief, Texas Scorecard followed up with more than 20 open records requests to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Included among were requests for the personnel files of the DFPS employees named in the brief, as well as their communications that contain the keywords “Abbott,” “Ken Paxton,” “transgender children,” “sex-change procedures” and/or “gender affirming.” Fourteen days later, DFPS chose to appeal these to the state attorney general’s office.

This lack of transparency followed the suspicious timing and action of DFPS employees seeking to sabotage Abbott’s directive for the state agency to protect children from these abusive medical procedures.

Texas Scorecard sent an inquiry to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services asking if the agency is currently enforcing Gov. Abbott’s letter that they “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances” of “sex-change procedures.” Texas Scorecard also asked how many investigations are currently underway, if any, and what is done if a parent or medical professional has been found to have put a minor under these procedures. No response was received before publication.

DFPS was not the only state agency blocking transparency on this issue.

Deep Cover-Up
To start off this investigation into the safety of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation, Texas Scorecard sought what Texas state medical agencies may already know. While a wealth of information is available to the public through other sources, here multiple roadblocks appeared to protect potentially bad actors.

On June 23 of this year, Texas Scorecard sent the Texas Medical Board (TMB)—the state agency that regulates medical practices—an open records request on this topic.

According to state law, the Texas Medical Board consists of 19 members, seven of whom are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Confirmed members serve a six-year term.

Texas Scorecard requested from TMB records in their possession that show the effects of alleged “sex-change surgeries” on children and adults. “We have nothing responsive to this request,” Ryan Wimmer of TMB replied.

Texas Scorecard also requested records of complaints filed against physicians regarding these procedures performed on children and adults from 2019 to June 23, 2022. Surprisingly, TMB did not deny such records exist. “This information is confidential under 164.007c,” Wimmer replied, referencing state law pertaining to “disciplinary actions and procedures” for physicians in Texas.

This response contradicted previous interactions with the Texas Medical Board. On an unrelated issue, Texas Scorecard sent an open records request to them on March 9 seeking records of doctors, physicians, and/or medical practitioners investigated and penalized for prescribing ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and/or inhaled budesonide. These medications had been assaulted by the establishment media and the medical establishment as unreliable for treating the Chinese coronavirus, despite doctors proclaiming they had witnessed positive results in their usage. On April 25, TMD replied with records of a “non-disciplinary Remedial Plan” for a Dr. Stella Immanuel, and a “Mediated Agreed Order” with Dr. Ivette Lozano. In May 2020, Dr. Lozano had complained to Texas Scorecard about the Texas Pharmacy Board adding bureaucratic paperwork to hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for those infected with the Chinese coronavirus. The board later backed down from this requirement.

On March 9 Texas Scorecard also requested from the Texas Medical Board the investigative file of Dr. Eric Hensen, the physician who in a Texas Scorecard exclusive interview said TMB was targeting him for not wearing a mask in his own practice during the Chinese coronavirus situation. Texas Scorecard also asked for TMB’s communications about Dr. Hensen. Unlike their response resulting in Drs. Immanuel’s and Lozano’s records, TMB’s March 15 response cited the exception to the law they pointed to in response to our June 23 request regarding sex-change surgeries. Still, they did provide Dr. Hensen’s remedial plan and a printout of his public verification.

When it came to doctors targeted for not towing the medical establishment line during the Chinese coronavirus situation, the Texas Medical Board offered some levels of transparency. But for requests about doctors who perform abusive medical procedures, TMB raised shields.

After receiving the Texas Medical Board’s response to our June 23 request, saying the information is confidential according to state law, Texas Scorecard sent a follow up on August 30. This one requested only the number of complaints filed regarding these types of surgeries on children and adults from 2019 to late August 2022. Again, Wimmer did not deny such records exist. “Information and material related to an investigation of a license holder is confidential, pursuant to section 164.007(c) of the Medical Practice Act and Previous Determination Letter Ruling OR2007-03117, dated March 22, 2007, issued by the Office of the Attorney General.”

Texas Scorecard asked Wimmer if his response was confirmation that the Texas Medical Board had active investigations open against physicians who conducted such procedures and how many were in the time frame of our open records request. Wimmer repeated his prior response.

On October 3, Texas Scorecard expanded its search to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) and ran into more walls. Multiple open records requests were sent, including one seeking “complaints filed against nurses regarding sex change surgeries on children and adults for the time period of 2019 to June 23, 2022.” On October 5, the Texas Board of Nursing appealed this and other requests we sent to Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

Just as with the Texas Medical Board, Texas Scorecard then followed up with a request for only the numbers of complaints received. “The Texas Board of Nursing does not have any responsive information to provide,” Gayna Wilson of the Board of Nursing replied, pointing to prior court decisions that state “an agency is not required to produce information it does not have at the time of the request.”

Finally, Texas Scorecard also sent two open records requests to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, requesting records in their possession that show the effects of “gender affirming and/or gender reassignment medications, drugs, puberty blockers and hormone treatments on children and adults”, as well as complaints they received against these from 2019 to June 23, 2022. We also requested communications within the state board’s possession that contain the keywords “gender reassignment surgeries,” “child sex change,” and/or “gender affirming surgeries” from August 23, 2021, to February 27, 2022.

The State Board of Pharmacy replied by releasing some records—emails announcing Attorney Gen. Paxton’s decision, and mass emails received from other publications—but appealed to the Attorney General’s Office in an attempt to withhold the rest.

Funding Your Opponents
Since taxpayers fund every aspect of government, it should be noted how much of their money these agencies opposed to their interests are spending.

In their Fiscal Year 2020 budget, The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported having more than $2 billion in revenues. In their Fiscal Year 2022 budget, that increased to more than $2.3 billion in 2021.

Next is the Texas Medical Board. In their budget submitted to Gov. Abbott and the Legislative Budget Board for this year, they planned to spend more than $17 million of taxpayers money. That’s up from their 2018 budget of close to $14 million.

The Texas Board of Nursing’s budget for this year show they planned to spend more than $13 million of taxpayers money.

Lastly, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget was set at more than $10.1 million. Their Fiscal Year 2020 budget was set at more than $10.06 million.

But those advancing these medically questionable procedures are not only within our state government, there are forces outside as well. A number of these forces revealed themselves in the March 2022 lawsuit to stop Gov. Abbott’s directive to DFPS.

In Part 3 of this series, Texas Scorecard will expose the law firms fighting to keep children at risk of these abusive medical procedures.

Robert Montoya

A former filmmaker, University of North Texas graduate, and one-time assistant language teacher, Robert Montoya misses Japan and the 1980s. He is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard.

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