TEXAS, USA — Legal and medical experts from the Yale school system and the University of Texas Southwestern have released a new report that analyzes the "misleading scientific claims" that informed recent legal actions in Texas and Alabama related to gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
According to Yale Law School, the report represents the first comprehensive examination of both Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion that gender-affirming care for transgender youth should be treated as child abuse and recently-passed Alabama legislation targeting gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Paxton's opinion prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to order the state's Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate reported instances of gender-affirming care for Texas children. The Alabama legislation, signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in early April, imposes felony penalties on anyone providing certain medical care to an individual under the age of 19.
The new Yale report strongly refutes the scientific claims that informed the measures in both states and says that Texas and Alabama authorities omitted important evidence detailing the benefits of gender-affirming care, while also exaggerating such care's potential harms.
Yale Law School says that while a number of professional and scientific organizations have denounced the actions in Texas and Alabama, this new report is the first point-by-point rebuttal. The report specifically outlines the following points:
- Texas and Alabama officials have falsely claimed that doctors are routinely sterilizing children and teenagers with surgical procedures
- The Texas and Alabama actions consistently ignore the mainstream scientific evidence that documents the substantial benefits of gender-affirming care
- The Texas and Alabama actions greatly exaggerate the risks of gender-affirming drug therapy
- The Texas and Alabama authorities rely on poor-quality evidence
The report states that both Paxton's opinion and the Alabama law's findings "ignore established medical authorities and repeat discredited, outdated and poor-quality information" and that Paxton's opinion also "mischaracterizes reputable sources and repeatedly cites a fringe group whose listed advisors have limited (or no) scientific and medical credentials and include well known anti-trans activists."
The report's authors also write that in both instances, the medical claims are "not grounded in reputable science and are full of errors of omission and inclusion." Additionally, one of the report's authors stated that Paxton's opinion was "not a fair look at the research" but rather "biased, politically motivated work."
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