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As Texas enters the eighth month with its cruel abortion ban, S.B. 8, in effect, politicians in the state continue to attack Texans’ health and rights by targeting transgender youth and their parents.

On the heels of a letter from state Attorney General Ken Paxton that maliciously mishcaracterized standards of care for transgender youth, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the parents of transgender minors for potential child abuse. Parents would be investigated for simply helping their children access safe, legal, gender-affirming health care. Abbott further declared that teachers, doctors, and the general public are all required — on pain of criminal penalty — to notify DFPS of people who provide or are suspected of providing medical treatment for gender dysphoria.

Here’s what’s important to know: the state courts have already blocked Gov. Abbott’s directive, extending emergency relief after the state began investigating a Texas family with a transgender child.

But it’s not just Texas. Politicians have launched attacks on transgender youth and their families in multiple states — including Florida, Indiana, Iowa, and South Dakota. More than 200 bills that target the LGBTQ+ community, and particularly LGBTQ+ youth, have been introduced in state legislatures this year. That includes more than 30 bills to restrict access to gender-affirming health care for minors and 50 bills to bar transgender youth from competing in student athletics. In the state of Idaho, politicians have even proposed subjecting nurses and doctors who offer gender-affirming care for transgender youth to life imprisonment.

Transgender people, like all people, have a fundamental right to quality health care — and to be treated with dignity and respect. Every major medical association in the United States supports gender-affirming care for transgender youth. They, and Planned Parenthood, understand that patients, families, and health care providers — not politicians — should decide what care is in the best interest of transgender youth, in accordance with current best medical practices.

When people are truly seen and cared for, their lives, their families’ lives, and their communities are better and healthier. Planned Parenthood health centers are proud to be a source of high-quality health care, education, and advocacy resources for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Currently, over 370 Planned Parenthood health centers in 39 states and the District of Columbia provide gender-affirming hormone therapy for patients. We also offer sex education that includes the full spectrum of gender identities and expressions. These health centers are an essential and irreplaceable provider of hormone therapy and primary care to transgender and gender-nonconforming patients, especially in areas outside of major cities, where they are often the only provider offering such services.

LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive rights are intertwined. Both arise from our fundamental right to control our own bodies and decide what our families look like. Planned Parenthood Action Fund will continue to fight for the right of everyone to access the health care they need.

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Tags: State Attacks, Transgender People, gender affirming care

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