As the fight to protect children in Texas continues, the state government agency whose mission is to “improve the health, safety and well-being of Texans” has been mum on a dire threat to the health, safety, and well-being of the state’s youth.

Florida officials, on the other hand, are taking a different tact.

On Thursday, Texas Scorecard sent inquiries to the Texas Health and Human Services about “gender dysphoria procedures,” asking if they had a statement on the issue and any plans to announce health guidance for Texans.

For context: In March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released “guidance” supporting “gender-affirming care” for minors, which includes cutting off adolescents’ healthy body parts as well as administering sterilizing puberty blocker drugs and cross-sex hormones to children. Yesterday, however, Florida’s Department of Health responded with their own guidance, rebuking federal officials and warning such operations can inflict severe and irreversible damages on youth.

“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” said Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”

Florida’s guidance continues:

“The current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents [with gender dysphoria], considering:

  • 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex,
  • the importance of puberty to brain development, with the pre-frontal cortex (which is responsible for executive functions, such as decision making) continuing to develop until approximately 25 years of age,
  • and the potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.”

Meanwhile, as of publication, Texas HHS has not replied to Texas Scorecard’s inquiries.

“Why are other red states not doing this?” tweeted Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. “I don’t know of any state other than Florida where health agencies are presenting an alternative to CDC woke garbage.”

The Fight Continues

The overall issue in Texas drew an international spotlight several years ago with the child abuse case of Dallas-area 9-year-old James Younger, whose mother told him he was a girl and wanted to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take the sterilizing puberty blocker and cross-sex hormone drugs and eventually be castrated.

Texas Scorecard extensively chronicled the issue over the past year, detailing how Gov. Greg Abbott and the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature—despite public outcry from citizens and millions of GOP voters—repeatedly refused to enact a child protection bill outlawing the disfiguring experiments.

Recently, in the wake of the Legislature’s inaction, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the operations “child abuse” in a 13-page formal legal opinion. Gov. Greg Abbott subsequently wrote a letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, ordering them to investigate such cases in the state.

However, local officials across the state and even national corporations have since retaliated.

Citizens and pro-family organizations are again exhorting Gov. Abbott to reconvene the state Legislature and finally enact a law to ban such operations on minors across the state.

Meanwhile, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee have already passed similar child protection laws, and Idaho and other states’ legislatures are also considering proposals.

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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