The Biden administration’s Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is going to war with the state of Texas over its decision to investigate the parents of children who have undergone so-called “sex-change” procedures.
The administration warned Wednesday that it will take “immediate action if needed” to protect children whose parents facilitate transgender surgery procedures, which includes hormone therapy, breast removal, and so-called “nullo” body modification, also known as “smoothie,” the procedure can best be described as having one’s genitals surgically removed.
The White House and the HHS issued statements Wednesday condemning Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's order to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate the parents of children who push their kids through such procedures.
“This is government overreach at its worst,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “Like so many anti-transgender attacks proliferating in states across the country, the governor’s actions callously threaten to harm children and their families just to score political points.”
“These actions are terrifying many families in Texas and beyond,” he added. “And they must stop.”
Becerra said that the HHS is “committed to protecting young Americans who are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” adding that he has directed the agency to “evaluate the tools at our disposal to protect trans and gender diverse youth in Texas.”
Using the phrase “gender-affirming medical care” to describe the life-altering surgical procedures, Becerra echoed the talking points used by progressive transgender activists, promising that the “HHS will take immediate action if needed.”
“I know that many youth and their supportive families are feeling scared and isolated because of these attacks,” he said. “HHS is closely monitoring the situation in Texas, and will use every tool at our disposal to keep Texans safe.”
While issuing his directive, the Texas governor warned that subjecting children to a wide variety of elective procedures is already outlawed in the state.
“It is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen,” said Gov. Abbott.
The governor warned that under state law all licensed professionals with direct contact with children, “who may be subject to such abuse” are required to report the abuse. He noted that there are reporting requirements and criminal penalties for members of the general public who turn a blind eye to such abuse.
“The Texas government’s attacks against transgender youth and those who love and care for them are discriminatory and unconscionable,” Becerra’s statement said. “These actions are clearly dangerous to the health of transgender youth in Texas. At HHS, we listen to medical experts and doctors, and they agree with us, that access to affirming care for transgender youth is essential and can be life-saving.”
Becerra says that he plans to use the Office for Civil Rights to take action for any “individual or family in Texas” targeted by a child welfare investigation.
Contrary to Abbott’s orders, the HHS is also releasing guidance for healthcare providers to state that they are not required to disclose any private patient information relating to sex changes, which the HHS refers to as “gender-affirming care” throughout the statement.
At the recent State of the Union, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to enact the so-called Equality Act, slamming the “onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families.”
“As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential,” Biden said.