AUSTIN — As state politicians continue to allow medical professionals to disfigure children in Texas, the state Republican Party is the latest to implore Gov. Greg Abbott to act.

On Monday, the Texas GOP released a statement calling on Abbott to add the issue to the state Legislature’s to-do list for the current August special session.

“Last week, Governor Abbott released the call for a second special session with numerous new items not included in the first session call. Notably absent was an item banning the barbaric practice of gender modification for minors, a Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priority,” said the party.

“Governor Abbott has the sole authority to add a gender modification ban to a special session, and he needs to do so,” said GOP Chairman and former State Rep. Matt Rinaldi. “Every day we wait, more Texas children are irreversibly harmed.”

The issue in Texas largely traces back to the nationally known case of James Younger, a 9-year-old from Dallas whose mother wanted to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take sterilizing drugs and eventually castrate him.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers proposed several different laws to outlaw certain similar mutilating operations on minors, such as cutting off children’s healthy body parts or giving them sterilizing cross-sex hormones. But despite citizen outcry and the fact that the protections are a state GOP priority, Republican lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives killed the effort.

Additionally, Gov. Abbott had been apparently silent on the issue for the past two years, not publicly commenting on the matter until the past month and not including the protections on his to-do list for the Legislature’s first special session, which was in July.

Late last week, Abbott finally made a long-awaited “announcement” on the matter—by sending a public letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, asking them to decide if cutting off children’s healthy body parts as part of such gender surgeries classifies as child abuse.

“There is no need to wait around for DFPS to tell us whether sex-change surgery on children is child abuse. It is,” Chairman Rinaldi continued. “More importantly, the DFPS letter doesn’t change James Younger’s situation or that of the hundreds of children similarly situated, since it does not address the issue of using puberty blockers or hormone treatments on children for the purpose of gender transition.”

Republican State Rep. Matt Krause of Haslet filed a proposed law in the July special session to protect children from such operations, and it has enough cosponsor votes to pass the chamber—though several of the signed supporters were key players in stopping the effort just a few months ago.

“Jeff Younger, James’s father, has been fighting to protect his son from being given medication that would block his natural puberty and hormones to change his biological sex,” the state GOP’s statement concluded. “Recently, a Dallas judge blocked Jeff from having unsupervised contact with his son and allowed the mother to cross-dress James in public. Jeff’s legal battle continues, but it illustrates the necessity for which the Texas Legislature needs to act.”

Concerned citizens may contact their state representative, their state senator, or Gov. Abbott.

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.