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Gender Modification Surgeries Constitute Child Abuse, Texas Family Protective Services Announces


The Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) will begin treating gender modification surgeries as child abuse, Governor Greg Abbott announced.

Five days ago, Abbott sent a letter to DFPS asking the agency to determine whether these procedures count as abuse when performed on children. DFPS Commissioner Jaime Masters responded in a letter today saying state law already classifies these surgeries as child abuse when not “medically necessary.”

“Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse,” Masters wrote.

“As you have described, this surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies. Generally, children in the care and custody of a parent lack the legal capacity to consent to surgical treatments, making them more vulnerable.”

Masters cites the same sections of state law that Abbott included in his letter, defining abuse by a standard of “genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child.”

He elaborates that these surgeries may not constitute abuse if ...