US state of Texas declares gender-affirming surgery for transgender kids a form of child abuse

WION Web Team
TexasUpdated: Aug 12, 2021, 09:08 PM IST

Representative image of a surgery Photograph:(Others)

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Gender-reaffirming surgery, a procedure to alter a person’s genitalia to match their gender identity that has long been a target of Texas Republicans, will now be considered a form of child abuse, the Texas Department for Family and Protective Services on Wednesday declared.

Texas' state commissioner of Family and Protective Services categorised genital gender-affirming procedures for trans youngsters as child abuse on Wednesday. 

“Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse,” said Commissioner Jaime Masters. “This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies.”

Earlier this month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott had requested clarity on the matter from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), which is in charge of investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. 

Governor Abbott asked the DFPS to investigate the matter on August 6 and stated the definition of abuse should include any surgical procedure for gender reassignment that will sterilize the child.

Surgeries he mentioned included hysterectomy, penectomy, and mastectomy.

Teachers, nurses, doctors, and day-care workers who are state-licensed or work in state-licensed or state-operated facilities could face a Class A misdemeanour charge, punishable by up to a year in prison if they discover a child has undergone gender-affirming surgery and do not report it to Masters' agency. 

(With inputs from agencies)