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Texans, Lawmakers Implore Abbott to Protect Children From Mutilation Operations

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AUSTIN — As the state Legislature begins their July special session, citizens and representatives are questioning whether Gov. Greg Abbott will add to the agenda an urgently needed ban on child disfigurement operations.

A few weeks ago, Abbott called for a special 30-day legislative session after the Republican-controlled Legislature chose not to complete priority work during the regular 140-day session earlier this year. Abbott also has the authority to set the legislative to-do list for a special session, which he announced yesterday.

One priority that did not make his list, however, was protecting children from scarring procedures.

In the regular session earlier this year, Republican legislators proposed several laws to prohibit medical professionals from performing mutilating procedures on minors, such as cutting off healthy body parts or administering sterilizing cross-sex hormones.

The proposals supported one of the top eight priorities of the Republican Party of Texas and came after the case of James Younger, a 9-year-old boy from Dallas, drew a national spotlight. Texas Scorecard recently produced a featured story on James, whose mother wanted to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take sterilizing drugs and eventually castrate him.

However, in the halls of the Capitol, Republicans in the House of Representatives destroyed the effort to protect James and countless other Texas children, using political and parliamentary tactics to kill the proposed laws.

Though Abbott did not include the child protections on his special session list, he does have the authority to add items throughout the 30 days of the special session—and citizens have been admonishing him to do just that.

“The most appalling failure [of the Legislature] was that of protecting children from so-called ‘sex changes,’ by puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sterilizing and mutilating surgery by medical butchers. That our legislators could not see fit to prevent this child

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