Investigations of Gender-Affirming Care Halted Again by Appeals Court

The latest court order in the battle over gender-affirming care in Texas has once again blocked the state from investigating that care as child abuse.

A March 21 order from the Court of Appeals for the 3rd District at Austin reinstated the original decision from the lower district court, which temporarily prohibits investigations of alleged child abuse based solely on families, physicians, and other medical professionals providing or facilitating gender-affirming care. (That original decision had been briefly suspended the previous week.)

As of now, the courts are also temporarily barring the state from imposing certain reporting requirements on medical professionals and others in the state who are aware of someone facilitating or providing gender-affirming care to minors. State Attorney General Ken Paxton quickly appealed the appellate court's order on March 23.

The Texas Medical Association filed a friend-of-the-court brief in both the district court and the appeals court supporting medically necessary, gender-affirming care, and opposing the criminalization of such treatment. 

In the district court decision, Judge Amy Clark Meachum halted the state’s investigations because, in part, she found “a substantial likelihood” that the lawsuit to stop the investigations would succeed on constitutional grounds. The state’s February directive to investigate gender-affirming care cases as child abuse came “despite no new legislation, regulation or even stated agency policy,” she said in her decision. 

Attorney General Paxton previously appealed that decision, leading to the March 21 ruling in the appellate court. Judge Meachum has set a trial date of July 11 to hear the full merits of the case.

Check Texas Medicine Today regularly for updates on the case as it unfolds.

Last Updated On

March 24, 2022

Originally Published On

March 23, 2022

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