A Dallas County judge has ruled that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has no authority to intervene in a lawsuit involving a Dallas hospital’s ability to provide gender transition services for trans-identified youth.
The law firm Aldous/Walker LLP announced in a statement Friday that Judge Melissa Bellan removed Paxton from the lawsuit involving Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center and physicians at the facility. She ruled that the state had no authority to act in the case.
Bellan’s ruling came four days after the state of Texas filed a petition to intervene in the case, where Dr. Ximena Lopez is suing the hospital for preventing her from offering puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors.
“The attorney general has no business being in this case and tried to push his way into it to satisfy a political interest, not a legal one,” said attorney Charla Aldous.
The state of Texas disagrees with that analysis, insisting that “intervention is essential in this case because the State has well-recognized sovereign interests in the uniform application of its laws and the welfare of children in this State.”
Paxton has taken a strong interest in issues related to medicalized gender transitioning of minors, declaring in a non-binding opinion issued in February that so-called “sex-change” procedures — experimental and irreversible puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and genital mutilation, including elective mastectomies and castration — “constitute child abuse under several provisions of chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code.”
“Beyond the obvious harm of permanently sterilizing a child, these procedures and treatments can cause side effects and harms beyond permanent infertility,” he wrote.
The American College of Pediatricians has identified “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, [and] cognitive impairment” as side effects of puberty blockers and warns that cross-sex hormones lead to “an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers.”
A summary of the two-hour hearing in front of Judge Bellan Friday compiled by Lopez’s legal team maintains that attorneys for Paxton “questioned whether Dr. Lopez was following the proper standard of care, but the court rejected those arguments.” At that hearing, Lopez’s legal team stated that the Texas Department of Health and Human Services has approved puberty blockers as a treatment for gender dysphoria.
A spokesperson for Aldous/Walker told The Christian Post that as of Monday afternoon, the court order is awaiting signoff of the draft from the attorney general’s office and had not yet been filed with the court.
Lopez believes the suspension of gender transition surgeries for minors at Children’s Medical Center came in response to a letter last August by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters, which classified “genital mutilation of a child through reassignment surgery” as “child abuse, subject to all rules and procedures pertaining to child abuse.”
Masters’ letter came after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott requested that the agency “issue a determination of whether genital mutilation of a child for purposes of gender transitioning through reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse.”
In March, the Houston-based Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the United States, announced that it would no longer provide puberty blockers to children after Paxton wrote the opinion.
Following a temporary injunction handed down by Bellan last month, Lopez and other physicians could resume providing gender transition services.