Earlier this month, more than 5,000 delegates gathered at the Republican Party of Texas Convention to determine the party’s eight new legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

In response to continued pressure from citizens and spurred on by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion that child gender modification is child abuse, the Texas GOP has announced its intention to prioritize banning the gender modification of children.


In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a guide supporting “gender-affirming care” for minors. This allows medical professionals to chemically castrate children with sterilizing cross-sex hormones and puberty blocker drugs, and allows doctors to mutilate the healthy bodies of kids so they would appear more like the opposite sex.

Currently, medical professionals are allowed to perform these “gender-affirming” operations on Texas children.

According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Help (WPATH), 80-95 percent of children outgrow their gender dysphoria phase. But if parents and medical professionals persuade children to disrupt their adolescent development and permanently disfigure their bodies, the results are horrifying. A Swedish study found that 10-15 years after surgery, individuals who underwent gender-affirming procedures were 20 times more likely to commit suicide. 

Additionally, a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies found that individuals who undergo hormone treatments and procedures have an “increased risk of breast, ovarian, uterine, or prostate cancer” due to the injected hormones.

In light of this, the Texas GOP has announced its commitment to banning these procedures on children, who are not even of age to legally consent to such life-altering procedures.

Has Texas already made progress on the issue?

On February 18, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a nonbinding opinion that body modification surgeries and other forms of gender modification in children, such as puberty blockers and hormone treatments, would be considered child abuse. 

Paxton stated, “These procedures can cause or permit the child to be in a situation in which the child sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development or psychological functioning.”

He concluded by adding that doctors cannot truly alter the biological sex of an individual, but merely “destroy a fully functioning sex organ in order to cosmetically create the illusion of a sex change.”

The Texas Senate has also demonstrated considerable support in the attempt to ban child gender modification. The Texas Senate passed multiple bills to protect Texas children from these mutilating practices, including one that defined child gender modification as child abuse. Meanwhile, the Texas House killed every bill brought before it, and several bills never even made it to the House floor.

Future Action 

In response to the failures of the Texas House to protect children, the Texas GOP is seeking to formally recognize child gender modification as child abuse. This includes banning chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, genital mutilation, body alteration surgery, and psychological or social transitioning.

Since minors cannot legally consent to such medical procedures, recognizing these procedures as child abuse will prevent parents from seeking out said operations for their children and prevent Texas physicians from performing such modifications on minors.

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 a responsibility to the most vulnerable of Texans: children.

Juliana Berg

Juliana is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is studying political science and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys learning about the philosophies that shape America.