Texas investigates hospital over care for transgender minors

May 5, 2023, 12:59 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas hospital’s care for transgender minors is being investigated by state Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said Friday he’s seeking evidence of alleged “potentially illegal activity” but did not elaborate.

Texas law does not currently ban gender-affirming care for minors, but Paxton has sought to designate it as child abuse. The hospital investigation in Austin is the latest attempt by Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott, both Republicans, to pursue other legal avenues for restrictions.

The move came against the backdrop of state Republican lawmakers trying to ban gender-affirming care for anyone under 18 in Texas. The GOP-controlled Legislature is pushing to make Texas the latest conservative state to crack down on medical care and the rights of transgender people, but a scheduled House vote on the bill Friday was delayed for at least a day.

In 2022, Paxton released a non-binding legal opinion that labeled certain gender-confirming treatment as child abuse. Abbott followed by ordering the state’s child welfare agency to investigate families who were receiving care. A Texas judge halted those state probes last year.

Paxton’s new inquiry seeks information from Dell Children’s Hospital about its policies on puberty blockers as well as documents identifying patients it has referred for treatment or counseling. The attorney general’s office issued a request Friday to examine hospital records “to determine whether any state laws have been violated or misrepresentations have been made to parents and patients.”

A recent report by the right-wing group Project Veritas, which bills itself as a news organization, alleged improper medical practices at the hospital and several others around the country.

“This investigation aims to uncover the truth,” Paxton said.

Dell Children’s Medical Group operates the hospital under the non-profit Catholic health system Ascension, and is affiliated with the University of Texas. The medical group said it prohibits surgery and prescribing hormone therapy for treatment of gender dysphoria in children. The group referred to a statement issued April 28 that said it would review any allegations of care that “may have been inconsistent” with those positions.

It also said it would take “appropriate action” if any care was found to be inconsistent with hospital policy. Hospital spokesperson Ann Howser declined to elaborate.

unique rule that would require adults and children to undergo more than a year of therapy and fulfill other requirements before they could receive gender-affirming treatments.

The Texas Senate has already passed a version of the transgender care ban for minors. The scheduled vote in the House on Friday was stalled on a technical matter for the second time this week.

On Tuesday, transgender rights activists disrupted the House with protests from the chamber gallery and state police forced demonstrators to move outside the building.


Associated Press Writer Acacia Coronado contributed.

National News

Associated Press

Racist message, dead raccoon left for Oregon mayor, Black city council member

REDMOND, Ore. (AP) — Someone left a dead raccoon and a sign with “intimidating language” that mentioned a Black city councilor outside the law office of an Oregon mayor, police said. Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch found the raccoon and the sign on Monday, the Redmond Police Department said in a news release. The sign mentioned […]

18 hours ago

FILE - A former iron ore processing plant near Hoyt Lakes, Minn., that would become part of a propo...

Associated Press

US Army Corps revokes permit for Minnesota mine, cites threat to downstream tribe’s water standards

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday it has revoked a crucial federal permit for the proposed NewRange Copper Nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, a project popularly known as PolyMet, saying the permit did not comply with the water quality standards set by a sovereign downstream tribe. The Corps said in […]

18 hours ago

FILE - The North Carolina Capitol stands, July 24, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. The promotion of certain ...

Associated Press

North Carolina legislature approves limits on politics, race discussion in state workplaces

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The promotion of certain beliefs that some North Carolina lawmakers have likened to “critical race theory” is on track to be banned in state government workplaces, under a bill that received final legislative approval on Tuesday. The two-pronged proposal that passed the GOP-controlled Senate 30-15, with three Democrats and all present […]

18 hours ago

File - The Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed in a showroom on the Apple campus after it's unvei...

Associated Press

Apple’s Vision Pro goggles unleash a mixed reality that could lead to more innovation and isolation

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Reporters are a skeptical bunch, so it was unusual to hear so many of them raving about their firsthand experience with Apple’s next Big Thing: the high-priced headset called Vision Pro, a device infused with totally virtual reality as well as augmented reality that projects digital images on top of real-world […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney for man charged in 1972 Chicago-area slaying of teen wants statements suppressed

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — An attorney for a Minnesota man charged in the stabbing death of a 15-year-old suburban Chicago girl more than half a century ago wants statements he made at a police station suppressed. Attorney Terry Ekl argued in a recent defense motion that statements Barry Whelpley made to Naperville investigators at the […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Artist Françoise Gilot, acclaimed painter who loved and later left Picasso, is dead at 101

NEW YORK (AP) — Françoise Gilot, a prolific and acclaimed painter who produced art for well more than a half-century but was nonetheless more famous for her turbulent relationship with Pablo Picasso — and for leaving him — died Tuesday in New York City, where she had lived for decades. She was 101. Gilot’s daughter, […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

Texas investigates hospital over care for transgender minors