AUSTIN — “My son, starting at 2 years old, was taught that he was a girl by his mother and was pushed into ‘social transition.’”

Texan Jeff Younger was one of several citizens and lawmakers who spoke at a Capitol press conference this week regarding a proposed law that would classify gender disfigurement operations as child abuse.

House Bill 68, by State Rep. Steve Toth (R–The Woodlands), would ban medical professionals from performing a variety of harmful and potentially permanently damaging procedures on children, such as “performing a surgery that sterilizes the child, including castration,” “administering or supplying any of the following medications that induce transient or permanent infertility,” such as puberty blockers, or “removing any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.”

Younger has had firsthand experience in this fight, as he’s fought a years-long battle in court to protect his son, James, from his mother’s desire to push him toward these permanently scarring operations.

“What is the medical side of treatment? It’s chemical castration by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones starting at age 8,” Younger said. “It permanently sterilizes the child, and it causes a myriad of health problems. Of the children that go onto this protocol, almost all of them go onto surgical transition. So, they were looking to put my son on the path to surgical transition as early as age 8.”

“I want you to consider that it’s illegal in Texas for children to get tattoos,” Younger added. “It’s illegal for children to smoke. It’s illegal for parents to give children cigarettes to smoke, but we’re allowing children to make irreversible decisions about their biology, about removing healthy sexual organs.”

“If legislators across the aisle do not pass this bill, they will, in my opinion, be complicit in the abuse of Texas children. That’s the bottom line,” said Dr. David Pickup.

Pickup, a licensed psychotherapist who operates the largest private practice in Texas for individuals with unwanted sexual or gender issues, explained that psychologists’ mainstream message of “being born in the wrong body” is not based on a single conclusive research study and that they fail to address gender dysphoria’s common underlying root of trauma.

“The media is not telling the general public that [gender] dysphoria is resolvable. It’s happening in my office on a weekly basis,” Pickup said. “There’s a lot of abuse involved that gets shoved under the rug. … Eighty-five to 90 percent of people with gender dysphoria resolve those issues by the time they’re in their late 20s, but the media isn’t telling the public that.”

Furthermore, Sarah Jessica Fields—a psychologist and director of advocacy for the Texas Freedom Coalition—said these operations to disfigure children are now a multibillion-dollar industry.

“There are now vast corporate interests in the medicalization of gender non-conforming children. … It has grown at a shocking pace in a few years, and there are more children’s gender clinics now than there are adult gender clinics, because that’s where the money is,” Fields said.

She added that coercing or forcing children into permanently scarring surgeries is not only child abuse, but it also defies all basic scientific facts that all doctors and psychologists are taught.

“As a gerontologist and a psychologist, I can assure you that at the young age of 8 years old, the frontal lobe is not developed; it is not ready to assess the decision to permanently change their own human body. … [That fact] is not news, so this tells me that science is being ignored in order for profits to be gained by the transgender industry. … There are multiple industries profiting from the industrial scale of child abuse,” Fields said.

“We’re talking about drugs that are irreversible,” said State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood). “And then when you talk about—this is what people don’t want to hear, and I don’t even like saying this kind of thing—but when you talk about cutting the [genitalia] off a boy, that’s pretty doggone drastic. And we’re talking about children; we’re not talking about an adult who’s made that decision for themselves.”

“We know that the suicide rate is exponentially higher among these [disfigured] children as they become adults, because they’ve done something that they cannot reverse,” said Rep. Toth. “And some will say, ‘Well, isn’t that just because the United States is not accepting of these kids?’ Go over to the Scandinavian countries, where it’s widely accepted and encouraged; their suicide rates are identical.”

“We’ve got to protect these kids. This is about the children; this isn’t a left-right issue,” Toth added.

“We do a lot of important things here in the Legislature, and I can’t think of anything we have this session … that’s any more important than stepping up and protecting these innocent children,” Hall said.

Concerned citizens may contact their state representatives.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.


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