Jonathan Covey, director of policy at Texas Values, says this official opinion makes it clear that genital mutilation and permanent sterilization of children is child abuse that results in harmful, irreversible damage.
"It's encouraging that Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has also made it clear that he's going to instruct state agencies to enforce this policy so that we have a consistent standard across the state," Covey adds.
These are not minor procedures or operations, and Covey contends there is no parental right to damage the body of a child in an irreversible way.
"Minors are prohibited from purchasing paint, cigarettes, from purchasing alcohol or getting a tattoo, and we can't allow minors to make life-altering decisions about mutilating their bodies or their parents mutilating the minor's body," he submits. "This decision affirms common sense."
Supporters of and advocates for transgender procedures say these things amount to healthcare; Dallas Morning News has called it "gender-affirming care," while NBC News has described it as "transition care." Covey, however, calls them elective procedures.
"They're not medically necessary procedures," he points out. "We had a statewide hearing last year, and a medical expert testified that for minors who are experiencing mental health issues … counseling and psychotherapy is the best way to address mental health issues."