In a significant development following embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s investigation, the biggest children’s hospital in the United States has decided to discontinue hormone therapy and other transgender care for minors.
On Wednesday, Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) CEO Mark Wallace announced the decision in a memo to staff, citing compliance with a new Texas law and ongoing investigations as key factors.
The announcement comes on the heels of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launching an investigation into TCH last May 19, to determine if the hospital is “actively engaging in illegal behavior and performing “gender transitioning” procedures on children.”
“I’ve been clear that any ‘gender transitioning’ procedures that hurt our children constitute child abuse under Texas law,” said Attorney General Paxton.
“Recent reports indicate that Texas Children’s Hospital may be unlawfully performing such procedures, and my office it is working to uncover the truth. I am committed to investigating any entity in our state to ensure that our children are protected. Though many unhinged activists compromising the healthcare field think otherwise, children are not to be treated as science experiments. Doctors and hospitals should not be pushing mutilative and irreversible ‘gender transitioning’ procedures that will negatively impact innocent children for the rest of their lives.”
Senate Bill 14, which would ban child gender modification, was passed by the Texas legislature on May 17 and very likely will be signed into law by Gov. Abbott.
Within the internal memo, Wallace acknowledged the challenges faced by the hospital due to the impending deadline to comply with the new Texas law.
Read the memo below from TCH CEO Mark Wallace:
I wanted to share an update related to Senate Bill 14, which will prohibit procedures and prescription treatments for gender transitioning, gender reassignment, and gender dysphoria The passage of this bill, which will go into effect on September 1, 2023, has clear and direct programmatic implications for our patients, families, faculty, staff, and care tears. Over the next few months, Texas Children’s will modify the gender-affirming care we offer to comply with the new law. We will work with patients and their families to manage the discontinuation of hormone therapies or source appropriate care outside of Texas. We will continue to offer psychosocial support and any form of care we can within the bounds of the law.
The transition we will embark on is going to be immensely heart-wrenching, but we will lead through this adversity and navigate these next steps together with grace, love, and compassion like we always do. I understand that there are many viewpoints and opinions related to this matter, but I want to remind everyone that our mission is to create a healthier future for all children
As the largest pediatric healthcare provider in the nation, being unable to serve and support these children and families the way we have in the past is painful. It is difficult for me, the in-Chiefs & Chairs, executives, faculty, staff and care teams to know that this is where we find ourselves. However. I want to assure all of you that through this period and after, we all remain dedicated to educating and amplifying the importance of safe, high-quality transgender medicine programs.
I also want to reassure the care teams, faculty and staff who have devoted their lives to gender-affirming care at Texas Children’s that you have our unwavering commitment and support. I want you to be confident that you are deeply valued members of the Texas Children’s family – and that will never change. We will continue to fulfill our mission to support our workforce and provide high-quality care for all patients in the present, throughout this transition and into the future.
No matter what your opinion may be about this topic, there are children, families and care teams who are deeply affected by this new legislation. Please join me by showing them support, empathy and care during this time. I want to keep their safety, well-being and care at the forefront of all we do at Texas Children’s. Thank you for your understanding, patience and sensitivity as we navigate the coming months together.