Gender reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse under state law, the head of child protection services in Texas has said.
Commissioner Jamie Masters of the Department of Family and Protective Services warned that the practice posed a genuine threat of harm to children.
Her ruling came in response to a letter from Governor Gregg Abbott seeking clarification on the issue from the Commissioner.
In reply to Gov. Abbott, Masters stated: “Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse.”
She continued: “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.”
Masters said professionals who failed to report suspected child abuse of this nature would be subject to “up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both”.
The child protection chief concluded that “allegations involving genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery will be promptly and thoroughly investigated and any appropriate actions will be taken”.
Following the announcement earlier this month, Gov. Abbott tweeted: “The determination and subsequent enforcement of Commissioner Masters’ conclusions are effective immediately.”
“Genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery is child abuse…” – Commissioner Jaime Masters, @TexasDFPS
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 11, 2021
In April, Arkansas became the first state in America to ban surgery for young people who are confused about their gender in a Bill which also prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty blockers to anyone under the age of 18.