Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced this week that performing sex reassignment surgeries on minors is a form of child abuse.
The governor made the announcement Thursday, after receiving a report from Jaime Masters, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Masters, Abbott said in a statement, examined "whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse."
In her letter to Abbott, Masters affirmed it is child abuse.
"This surgical procedure physically alters a child's genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting harm to children's bodies," she wrote. "Generally, children in the care and custody of a parent lack the legal capacity to consent to surgical treatments, making them more vulnerable."
Masters did, however, cite a handful of exceptions.
"It may be warranted for the following conditions, including but not limited to, a child whose body parts have been affected by illness or trauma; who is born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development, such as the presence of both ovarian and testicular tissue; or who does not have the normal sex chromosome structure for male or female, as determined through genetic testing."
She went on to state that failure to report suspected abuse within a timely manner could result in a Class A misdemeanor charge, which may include jail time.
Any allegations of said abuse "will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and any appropriate actions will be taken," Masters added.
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