Biden Administration Takes Action Against Texas Attack on Trans Youth and Their Families
President Joe Biden and the US Department of Health and Human Services responded forcefully on Wednesday to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s illegitimate attempt to criminalize appropriate, gender-affirming health care for children.
In a statement from the White House, the president called Abbott’s actions “government overreach at its worst … that callously threaten to harm children and their families just to score political points.”
On the same day, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued guidance saying that child welfare agencies should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly includes access to gender-affirming care.
Additionally, the department also released guidance on patient privacy, making it clear that despite the threat from Texas government, health care providers are not required to disclose private patient information regarding gender-affirming care. The department also issued guidance confirming that it is illegal to deny health care based on gender identity, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient’s gender identity.
“President Biden and his administration are standing up for transgender kids in Texas and around the country and we grateful for their leadership.” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “We know that gender-affirming health care saves lives, can improve mental health and reduce depression and anxiety. And yet, Gov. Abbott has put a target on transgender youth and their families. The Biden administration is making clear that this assault is discriminatory and will not stand.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society and the Pediatric Endocrine Society have all issued statements opposing Abbott’s actions.
There is help available for any transgender person or our families who believe that they or another party has been discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or disability in seeking access to gender-affirming health care. They can file a complaint here with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.