Texas appealed against a judge's order stopping the state from investigating parents of transgender 16-year old girl who provided her with gender-affirming medical treatment that Governor Greg Abbott calls "child abuse."
This appeal notice is the first online published by the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. It seeks to reverse a temporary restraining or issued Wednesday by Travis County Circuit Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum in an effort to stop the state's investigation of the family.
Abbott directed the state's Department of Family and Protective Services to conduct such investigations last month, citing a not binding legal opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton which concluded that some medical treatments that were used to help transgender youths transition away form their birth gender could be considered child abuse.
On Wednesday , President Joe Biden denounced Abbott’s directive for being a "cynical campaign targeting transgender kids and their parents."
Reuters reached out to Abbott and Paxton for comment on Thursday, but they did not immediately respond. Paxton requested an expedited appeal from the Third Court of Appeals of the State.
According to her parents' lawsuit, the adolescent in question was born male but has since identified herself as female and has taken hormone therapy and puberty-delaying medication as part of transitional medical care that is gender-affirming.
The mother of the teen is employed by the DFPS, which was instructed to investigate her. According to the lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and American Civil Liberties Union, she was put on leave for questioning what the directive meant for her family.
Meachum's Wednesday order found that the family is facing "imminent, ongoing deprivation" of their constitutional rights, possible loss of medical care, and stigma associated with being the subject of unfounded child abuse investigations.
A hearing was scheduled for March 11, to hear a request for a wider injunction that would prevent the enforcement of Abbott's order against any family within the state. However, the appeal could stop the proceeding.
Reuters was told Tuesday by the DFPS that it has opened at most three child welfare investigations. This inquiry is subject to a February 22 directive from Abbott, which orders investigation of parents whose children are subject to "sexchange" procedures.
Abbott, a Republican candidate for a third term, was named in the court challenge along with DFPS commissioner Jaime Masters.