Texas AG Ken Paxton won't leave trans people alone, again requests data from out of state

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
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Despite having no legal jurisdiction, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has once again requested medical records from a transgender health care provider in another state.

The latest request was issued to a telehealth clinic in Georgia, QueerMed, which serves patients across the United States. Dr. Izzy Lowell, the organization’s founder, confirmed Paxton's inquiry to the Houston Chronicle, but did not elaborate on the next steps the group will be taking in response.

“I’m not breaking any laws,” she told the outlet. “We are doing everything by the book according to state law.”

The request is the second known inquiry from Paxton, who demanded in November that the Seattle Children's Hospital turn over information pertaining to the number of Texas minors receiving gender-affirming care from the clinic, their diagnoses, the medications prescribed, and even advice on how to wean a patient off such treatment.

A Washington judge blocked the hospital from releasing the records in December, citing the state's new shield laws that prevent civil or criminal legal actions against patients receiving procedures that are outlawed in other states, such as gender-affirming care or abortions. Seattle Children's Hospital then filed a lawsuit against Paxton to demand he cease the investigation.

Paxton himself has not commented publicly on the Seattle case or Georgia inquiry. His office has declined to release information about other ongoing inquiries against transgender health providers.

Texas is one of 23 states that has passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors, in spite of all available medical evidence. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the World Medical Association, and the World Health Organization all agree that gender-affirming care is evidence-based and medically necessary not just for adults but minors as well.

As the attorney general of Texas, Paxton does not have jurisdiction over care occurring in other states, regardless of where the patients reside. Lowell said that despite Paxton's request, she is "not going to stop or be intimidated.”

“The unfairness and blatant discrimination and harassment and persecution of trans people in this country right now is outrageous, and I’m only becoming more and more passionate about it as things have gotten worse," she continued.