Anti-science coalitions have formed to block Texas grassroots’ efforts to protect children from the misleadingly marketed “gender-affirming” procedures of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. These coalitions include deep state operators in Texas agencies, well-funded and politically connected law firms, and even politicized members of the medical community.
“I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.” That is a quote from the famous Hippocratic oath, which, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, was “adopted as a guide to conduct by the medical profession throughout the ages and still used in the graduation ceremonies of many medical schools.”
This is an oath that many in Western medicine appear more than willing to violate in modern times.
The medical establishment’s obsession with profits and ideology over cold hard science was made stark during the Chinese coronavirus. Medical practitioners who praised positive results from the usage of medications, other than the rushed and unproven mRNA vaccinations coming from Pfizer or other large pharmaceutical companies, were targeted. Meanwhile, a conga line of doctors parrott the establishment line of vaccines being “safe and effective” before television cameras.
Lately, more information has been coming out revealing how ineffective and dangerous these vaccines are.
Similar tones have been noticed in members of the medical establishment who have advocated for surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation procedures marketed as “gender affirming.”
But scientifically reliable publications from multiple nations, and the State of Florida, warn of the dangerous side effects and permanent consequences of these abusive medical procedures. Indeed, these prescriptions appear to be driven by ideology rather than science.
“Transgenderism is an ideology, and gender dysphoria is a diagnosis,” said Dr. Andre Van Mol, a board-certified family physician in California. Dr. Van Mol is also co-chair of the American College of Pediatrician’s Committee on Adolescent Sexuality and the Sexual and Gender Identity Task Force of the Christian Medical & Dental Association. “Transgenderism is becoming the catch-all diagnosis for any kind of psychological stress, or discomfort, that an adolescent or young adult is experiencing, and transition is being billed as the cure-all solution.”
Throughout this investigative series, Texas Scorecard has examined the risky and dangerous side effects and permanent consequences of these abusive medical procedures, as well as the deep state operators and well-funded activist law firms opposing efforts to protect children from them. This investigative report will explore politicized members of the medical community who are also opposing efforts to protect Texas children.
The Texas Legislature has so far refused to protect children from these abusive medical procedures. The only action at play was Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) “to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances” of “sex-change procedures.”
On March 1, 2022, the Doe v. Abbott lawsuit was filed to block Gov. Abbott’s directive to DFPS.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include a DFPS employee, using the pseudonym of Jane Doe, and her family. The other plaintiff appears all too willing, like others in the medical establishment, to violate the Hippocratic oath for profit or ideology; her name is Dr. Megan A. Mooney, former president of the Texas Psychological Association (TPA).
Dr. Megan A. Mooney
The Doe v. Abbott filing from the plaintiffs identifies Dr. Mooney as “a clinical psychologist and mandated reporter under Texas law. She has her own practice based in Houston, Texas, that includes transgender patients, many of whom have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and are receiving treatment for this condition.”
Texas Scorecard contacted Dr. Mooney and asked for an opportunity to interview her. She did not respond.
The term “mandated reporter” means Dr. Mooney is “obligated to report child abuse and neglect to” the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). The Doe v. Abbott filing claims that “the Governor’s directive and DFPS implementation have placed Dr. Mooney in an untenable situation. If Dr. Mooney fails to report her clients who receive gender-affirming care, she faces the prospect of civil and criminal penalties, the loss of her license, and other severe consequences.”
The petition also claims that she would be “violating her professional standards of ethics and inflict serious harm and trauma on her clients” and allegedly “irreparably damage the bonds of trust” with her clients were she to abide by Abbott’s directive.
Finally, the petition claims that she “could also confront harsh penalties, including prison time, for the false reporting of child abuse, as she would be making a report to DFPS when she knows child abuse is not happening,” and she “could face civil suit by patients for failing to treat them.”
“As a psychologist, I often evaluate and diagnose gender dysphoria in my patients. I sometimes refer patients for medical treatment for gender dysphoria and oversee their ongoing mental health care during the course of such treatment,” Dr. Mooney stated in the Doe v. Abbott filing. Furthermore, in the filing it’s claimed that “many of her patients are transgender or non-binary young people under the age of 18, including youth with gender dysphoria,” and that “she also sees clients elsewhere in the state.”
In the filing, Dr. Mooney claims these alleged treatments are “only provided” with the “informed consent of parents and the assent of minor patients.” But Dr. Van Mol contests this.
“Informed consent requires full information, and the storyline that’s generally given by gender clinics, endocrinologist, or plastic surgeons who are involved in this, quite often we see evidence that it tends to be quite something less than fully informed consent,” he told Texas Scorecard. In fact, Dr. Van Mol points out there aren’t any standards of informed consent for these procedures. “This is in the medical literature, that there is no international standard of informed consent. It varies from doctor to doctor, clinic to clinic, state to state, country to country,” he said. “That’s not a standardization we would expect to see in a bonafide, proven medical intervention.”
In the filing, Dr. Mooney continued to express opposition to Abbott’s DFPS directive, framing her argument as scientific. “Medical interventions to treat gender dysphoria in adolescence are effective, safe, and often lifesaving,” she claimed. She also said these abusive medical procedures “are a critical part of treatment and often save lives,” and that “at least” 44 percent of youth who identified as transgender attempt suicide.
“Gender-affirming medical treatment does not harm minors but rather greatly improves their health, wellbeing, and quality of life,” she said. “My clinical observations are also supported by data and scientific studies.”
Again, Dr. Van Mol says scientifically reliable data disagrees. “Looking at the medical literature here, gender affirming healthcare is not proven to reduce suicides,” he said. “The best studies we have on it, that follow people out the longest, said just the opposite: it increases it. It has not [been] proven to cure gender dysphoria or to treat the underlying medical problems.”
Dr. Mooney’s claims about suicide also contradict J. Michael Bailey and Ray Blanchard’s 2017 paper “Suicide or transition: The only options for gender dysphoric kids?” In that paper, Bailey and Blanchard report that “there is no persuasive evidence that gender transition reduces gender dysphoric children’s likelihood of killing themselves.”
Dr. Mooney’s opinion is also in direct conflict with scientifically reliable papers from the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Finland, and Florida that warn of the dangerous side effects and permanent consequences of gender mutilation and hormone manipulation. One such permanent consequence of these abusive medical procedures, according to Dr. Gloria Gamboa, who practices family medicine in Farmersville, Texas, is incontinence.
In her activist fight, Dr. Mooney has gone so far as to work outside of the Doe v. Abbott lawsuit to undermine Gov. Abbott’s directive to protect children. “I have spent a good chunk of the past 48 hours trying to get information out through social media and all of the therapist groups I’m part of,” she said in an interview with The Guardian in March 2022. “We’re saying, ‘No, this is not legally binding. You don’t have to do anything different.’”
At a panel of the American Psychological Association this year called “The Psychological Impact of Anti-Trans Legislation,” Dr. Mooney stated. “Texas parents … have to decide whether they risk initiative for life-saving care and be labeled as child abusers, or put their child’s life at risk.”
Dr. Mooney further indicated that she is but a member of a vast coalition of the medical establishment. “What people aren’t seeing are the thousands of people behind the scenes, the psychologists, the doctors, the policy makers, working to protect trans kids.”
It should be noted Dr. Mooney has been waging this kind of fight for a while.
In 2021, The Texas Tribune quoted Dr. Mooney in their article targeting Senate Bill 1646, which sought to protect children from the abusive medical procedures of surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. That year, her response to statements that social media and parents pressure kids into calling themselves transgender was widely reported. “There’s literally zero evidence or research to suggest that that’s true,” she said at the time. While stating that “surgery is only recommended when a patient is experiencing so much psychological distress that the only way to resolve it is surgery,” she said “medical treatment is often necessary for transgender children just to make it to their 18th birthday.”
But according to Dr. Van Mol, there is pressure. “Social media is a big factor,” he told Texas Scorecard. “It’s everywhere for the kids; there’s no escaping it. The schools are driving it, the media is driving it, social media, the entertainment industry, [and] depending on what state you live in—I’m in California—the politics is further helping drive it.”
This is also not Mooney’s first fight against Abbott. It was widely reported in 2020 that, as president, she led the Texas Psychological Association (TPA) against a move by Abbott to alter the Social Work Code of Conduct. TPA alleged that this move would have removed “protections against discrimination for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.” The association even sent a letter to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) in opposition, and Dr. Mooney testified at BHEC’s quarterly meeting on October 27, 2020. “Her statement came a few hours following BHEC’s decision to keep the social workers’ original rule in place that prohibited social workers from turning away clients on the basis of disability, sexual orientation or gender identity,” reported Targeted News Service.
Texas Scorecard reviewed her activism of the last couple of years, but what is Dr. Mooney’s background?
According to her own statements in the Doe v. Abbott petition, Dr. Mooney is an influential person in Texas’ medical field. She is not only a member of the Texas Psychological Association (TPA), but she was its president in 2020, was on the board for seven years, and is currently an ex officio board member.
Texas Scorecard sent an open records request to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council and received Dr. Mooney’s file. Her undergraduate degree is from Vanderbilt University, and her doctorate degree is from the University of Arkansas. She completed her internship in professional psychology with the Baylor College of Medicine Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. According to her website, she is a member of the clinical faculty with Baylor College of Medicine and the adjunct faculty with the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. She is also an affiliate member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which published a propaganda sheet about the supposed benefits and safety of the abusive medical procedures marketed as “gender-affirming care.”
Her political persuasion is also not in doubt. According to Open Secrets, Dr. Mooney has donated to left-wing Democrats Wendy Davis and Robert Frances O’Rourke.
Her influence has also touched at least two Texas school districts near Houston: Pearland Independent School District and Humble Independent School District.
At Humble ISD, she provided “Psychological First Aid Training” for the district’s counselors.
She also did a September 2020 presentation for parents, where she discussed how they “can support their student’s mental health & how to navigate feelings during school re-openings.”
In 2020, she presented at Pearland ISD’s Mental Health Matters conference.
Aside from her own activism, Dr. Mooney also has connections to organizations that oppose protecting children from surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. Their involvement warrants a quick examination due to their proximity to Dr. Mooney.
The Texas Psychological Association
In the Doe v. Abbott filing, Dr. Mooney mentions the association she once led. “As a licensed psychologist, I am required to follow the guidance of the [American Psychological Association] and [Texas Psychological Association], which recognize the scientific research and medical consensus that gender-affirming care is medically necessary for certain youth with gender dysphoria.”
Early on, the Texas Psychological Association (TPA) shouted its opposition to protecting children from surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation. On February 25, the association issued a press release in response to Attorney General Paxton’s opinion that these procedures, when performed on minors, constitute child abuse, as well as Abbott’s directive that the Department of Family and Protective Services investigate when such procedures occur. “Gender-affirming medical care supports children’s mental health. TPA reminds all psychologists that these are non-binding opinions. No laws on the definition of what constitutes child abuse have changed,” the press release reads. “The Attorney General’s opinion does not address medically necessary health care. Gender-affirming care is medically necessary health care and thus is not defined as child abuse and is not required to be reported to DFPS.”
In the past, TPA has been a force to be reckoned with in the Texas Legislature. According to Transparency USA, from 2015 to this year, TPA has spent a minimum of more than $340,000 to a maximum of more than $705,000 on lobbyists;one lobbyist TPA has repeatedly turned to since 2018, and has hired through the end of this year, is Kevin C. Stewart. TPA previously hired lobbyists, including Jessica Magee, Travis Lucas, Jerry Philips, and Kurt Meacham.
Transparency USA reports the Texas Psychological Association has also wielded influence in the state legislature through their political action committee. From 2015 to present, the association made a total of more than $166,000 in expenditures, donating to notable Republicans such as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick; State Sens. Charles Perry, Charles Schwertner, Kelly Hancock, and Dawn Buckingham; Speaker of the House Dade Phelan; and Gov. Greg Abbott.
TPA has donated to notable Democrats as well, such as State Sens. Nathan Johnson and Beverly Powell and State Reps. Senfronia Thompson and Joe Moody.
It was widely reported in 2020 that TPA awarded State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D–Laredo) with the Outstanding Legislative Contribution Award. “She has reached out to TPA and psychologists to make sure that she considers information about the mental health needs of the community,” then-TPA President Dr. Mooney stated. Zaffirini said she was “delighted to receive this wonderful recognition from the Texas Psychological Association.”
In addition to TPA, Dr. Mooney is connected to an agency that deals directly with children.
DePelchin Children’s Center
For more than 12 years, Dr. Mooney worked at DePelchin Children’s Center, “a licensed foster care agency” in Houston, where she “supervised a trauma program and provided therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families.”
DePelchin has deployed lobbyists in the past to the Texas Legislature. According to Transparency USA, in 2015, the center hired Jason Sabo, founder of lobbying group Frontera Strategy, for a range of $10,000-$25,000. In 2016 and 2017, DePelchin hired John Specia Jr., for a range of $1-$10,000 each year.
Specia’s connection is notable. He was appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry in 2012 to lead “an overhaul of Child Protective Services.” CPS is housed within the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the very department within which a rebellion started that led to the Doe v. Abbott lawsuit this year (an attempt to stop Gov. Abbott’s directive to investigate cases where children undergo the abusive medical procedures of gender mutilation and hormone manipulation). In other words, DePelchin at one point hired a lobbyist uniquely connected to the state agency that would become the nexus of the battle to protect children from surgical mutilation and hormone manipulation.
Specia was also appointed to the planning committee for the Judicial Committee on Mental Health, and he is a founding member of the Texas Supreme Courts Commission on Children, Youth and Families. He also served as a district judge in San Antonio from 1988 to 2006.
But there is one more notable connection tied to Dr. Mooney and DePelchin.
According to Dr. Mooney’s LinkedIn profile, she is a co-founder of Gender Infinity, a “volunteer operated” nonprofit that hosts an annual conference and family gatherings in support of “gender diverse individuals.” Other co-founders include Colt St. Amand, Ph.D., M.D.; Bob McLaughlin, Ph.D.; Robbie Sharp, Ph.D.; and Becca Keo and James Gonzalez. The executive director is Andrea Segovia, who is also the “policy/field coordinator for the Transgender Education Network of Texas” (TENT).
Texas Scorecard reported this September that TENT promotes gender mutilation for children and is positioning itself to oppose attempts by the Legislature to protect children from these and other abusive medical procedures.
Gender Infinity’s website states that its “services are grounded in gender affirmative approaches for transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, along with their families and providers.” The organization’s “partners” are The Simmons Foundation, the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church.
Very little information is available about this nonprofit from the Internal Revenue Service. What is available are Form 990-N filings for the tax years 2017 and 2018. (The IRS states that “most small organizations that receive less than $50,000 fall into” the Form 990-N category.)
More information is available about what the nonprofit actually does. Gender Infinity hosts an annual conference in the south to teach more than 300 attendees about creating trans affirming spaces. This year, on November 4 and 5, the conference was hosted by the University of Houston. As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, the conference advertised talks on puberty blockers, sterilizing cross-sex hormones, and “feminizing surgeries.” The conference offered online sessions for professionals seeking continuing education credits on November 4 and in-person presentations for gender-confused youth and their families on November 5.
The first conference was held in 2011. The 2013 and 2014 Gender Infinity conferences are listed on DePelchin Children’s Center’s website. The 2013 conference was titled “Creating and Celebrating Possibilities for Gender Variant Children and Their Families.” For this event, Drs. McLaughlin, Sharp, and Mooney were listed as organizers. The 2014 conference was titled “Bridging the Gap Between Providers and Families of Transgender Youth.”
In 2018, Gender Infinity established a kids camp for “gender expansive, transgender and intersex kids in the Southern United States, aged 4 – 18, and includes gender neutral cabins. The nonprofit also holds quarterly family gatherings at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, where parents and minors are separated into age-based “facilitated discussion groups” focusing on gender ideology.
The Last One
Gender Infinity’s board members include a very eclectic, politicized, and well-connected mix of individuals. Of particular note is board member and co-founder Dr. Bob McLaughlin, who is currently president of the Texas Society for Allied Health Professions and secretary of the Southern Association of Deans of Allied Health at Academic Health Centers. He is also a former president of the Houston Psychological Association, the Harris County Child Abuse Task Force, and the Texas Psychological Foundation. According to the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), he is currently the dean emeritus of the School of Health Professions.
According to the Texas Psychological Association, Dr. McLaughlin’s private practice’s “major focuses include relationships, couples treatment, and LGBTQI+ individuals, including sexuality and gender diverse children and adolescents and their families.”
His political views are well known, too. According to Open Secrets, he has donated to Democrats Robert Frances O’Rourke and Joe Biden.
In 2021, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) advertised that as “a practicing psychologist,” Dr. McLaughlin came to them to finish his internship while in graduate school. His area of focus at that time was working with children who were victims of sexual abuse, and “Baylor’s internship program offered him the opportunity to work with a treatment program for adults who had committed sexual offenses.”
A BCM press release goes on to state that he and his co-workers created “a treatment program for adolescents with sexual behavior problems or who had committed sexual offenses.” This became known as the ADAPT Counseling agency. “Through the program, they contracted with several probation departments as well as Child Protective Services and helped the Harris County Juvenile Probation set up a residential treatment facility where ADAPT provided treatment services.”
BCM states he co-founded Gender Infinity as “an educational program to cross-train professionals, including attorneys, medical professionals, mental health professionals and educators, on how to support the health and development of gender diverse children. In addition, the program provided support services to families of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children.”
“I’ve had an extraordinary opportunity to be on the vanguard of three important movements in mental health – around child abuse survivors, children who sexually act out, and pediatric presentations of gender diversity,” McLaughlin said in 2021.
In the fight to protect children in Texas from abusive medical procedures, Texans find themselves arrayed against deep state forces, well-funded and connected law firms, and politicized medical professionals and their organizations.
But just as David defeated Goliath, so too can Texans defeat those who are out to keep children at risk.
In Part 5 of this series, Texas Scorecard will explore possible solutions to protect children from these abusive medical procedures.