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Texas court allows the state to investigate gender-affirming care as child abuse : NPR

Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender-related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House in May 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Eric Gay/AP

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Eric Gay/AP

Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender-related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House in May 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Eric Gay/AP

In a unanimous ruling on a controversial issue, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday has cleared the way for the state child welfare agency to resume investigating parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for trans youth — actions that Gov. Greg Abbott has equated to child abuse.

The ruling overturns a lower court’s injunction from March 11, barring state officials from pursuing Abbott’s Feb. 22. directive that instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate “any reported instances” of a range of treatments and procedures, including the administration of hormones and puberty-blocking drugs.

The parents of a transgender teen sued to stop the investigations, and in early March, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum issued a temporary order halting an investigation into the parents of the 16-year-old girl. Meachum later issued another order at the statewide level, temporarily blocking all such investigations stemming from Abbott’s directive.

A Texas appeals court later upheld that injunction, but today’s action by the state’s highest court has lifted Meachum’s statewide order.

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