HOUSTON (CBSDFW/AP) – A Texas agency has ruled that the genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender confirmation, a surgery almost never performed on minors, should be considered child abuse.
The state Department of Family and Protective Services made the determination Wednesday per Gov. Greg Abbott’s request, according to the Houston Chronicle.READ MORE: Amber Alert Issued For 12-Year-Old Girl Out Of Converse, Texas
The governor sent a letter on August 6, asking the agency to issue its determination. “Subjecting a child to genital mutilation through reassignment surgery creates a ‘genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child,'” wrote Gov. Abbott. “This broad definition of ‘abuse’ should cover a surgical procedure that will sterilize the child, such as orchiectomy or hysterectomy, or remove otherwise healthy body parts, such as penectomy or mastectomy. Indeed, Texas already outlaws female genital mutilation of a child, and presumably that also constitutes child abuse.”
READ FULL LETTER HERE
In its declaration, the agency agreed with Abbott’s redefinition of gender-confirming surgery as a form of genital mutilation, a technical term used by human rights activists to refer to a procedure performed on girls at a young age to prevent them from experiencing sexual pleasure.READ MORE: COVID-19 Pandemic Has Taken A Toll On Mental Health, Led To More Drug Abuse, CDC Says
“As you have described, this surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies,” the DFPS stated in its Wednesday letter. The agency made exception for surgeries it deems “medically necessary,” including procedures to correct what it calls “medically verifiable genetic disorders of sex development”.
Abbott said the agency’s ruling was effective immediately, meaning doctors, nurses, teachers, daycare employees, and other professionals who work with children are now required to inform DFPS within 48 hours if they have reason to believe a child has or may undergo gender-confirming surgery.
In accordance with child abuse laws, those who do not report can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. DFPS will also now be duty-bound to investigate parents and medical practitioners who perform the surgeries.MORE NEWS: US To Deport 'Massive' Number Of Haitian Migrants From Texas Border Town
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