Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton takes aim at puberty blockers
In a statement, Paxton said his office wanted to determine whether AbbVie and Endo Pharmaceuticals violated state law by promoting the use of Lupron and Suprelin without disclosing potential risks to children and their parents.
The Food and Drug Administration has only approved their use to treat precocious puberty. But doctors routinely prescribe drugs for unapproved or “off-label” uses, and puberty blockers have been used for years to delay the onset of puberty in children considering gender reassignment.
In late February, Paxton issued a legal opinion that helping children make the medical transition could be considered child abuse. Abbott then issued a directive ordering child protective services to investigate parents who did so. The United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit recently reinstated a statewide lower court’s temporary injunction against the directive, while a lawsuit challenging its legality gains momentum before the courts. On Thursday, Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to order the appeals court to withdraw the injunction.
In the past six months, two hospitals in Texas have stopped offering the blockers to trans children. Genecis, a Dallas-based health program that offered puberty blockers to trans children, closed last November, and Houston-based Texas Children’s Hospital announced this month that it would suspend its program offering blockers and hormone therapy to transgender children.
Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, criticized the investigation. “All children, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation or ability, deserve to live happy, authentic lives free from government intrusion,” Martinez said. “The effort in Texas to shut down transgender youth’s access to lifesaving health care and best practices, which has been endorsed by every major credible medical association, is an outrageous abuse of power and a gross intrusion by the government.”