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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Texas Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care


    Frank Trinity, Chief Legal Officer

    The AAMC joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and others in an amicus brief filed on March 10 supporting a challenge to the Texas governor and attorney general threatening criminal sanctions for health care professionals who provide gender-affirming care to children and adolescents, as well as educators who fail to report known instances of such care to child protection authorities.

    On Feb. 21, the attorney general of Texas released an opinion concluding that certain evidence-based medical treatments that are critical for many adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria actually constitute “child abuse.” In a letter the next day, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate “any reported instances” of the use of those treatments as child abuse. The amicus brief supports a temporary injunction enjoining enforcement of the governor’s letter.

    The amicus brief provided the court with an accurate description of the well-accepted treatment guidelines for gender dysphoria, including the medical treatments mischaracterized by the governor’s letter, summarized the scientific evidence supporting these medical interventions for some adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria, and detailed the severe consequences that patients and providers will face if action is taken pursuant to Abbott’s letter. The brief warns that the actions of the Texas state government, if not enjoined by the court, “will irreparably harm both transgender adolescents and healthcare providers in Texas.”

    This brief, and other efforts, reaffirms the AAMC’s commitment to ensuring access to high-quality care that treats all people, including transgender individuals, equally and with respect as outlined in a 2021 AAMC statement, which read, “Efforts to restrict the provision of gender-affirming health care for transgender individuals will reduce health care access for transgender Americans, promote discrimination, and widen already significant health inequities.”