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Texas authorities investigate med school over child transgender procedures

Baylor doctors performed transgender procedures on children after hospital announced a pause

A hospital connected to the Baylor College of Medicine is under investigation by Texas authorities after a whistleblower report showed that it provided cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and transgender surgeries to children despite previously stating that it would stop.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched the probe, but was impeached by the Texas House of Representatives on May 27 for unrelated allegations over bribery and abuse of public trust, which he disputes. While Paxton is suspended and awaits his trial in the state senate, Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to appoint an interim replacement, who could continue the investigation into the med school.

Texas Children’s Hospital, one of the largest and highest-ranked pediatric care facilities in the United States, announced last spring that its doctors would no longer alter the bodies of children as treatment for gender dysphoria after Gov. Abbott promised to target these practices as “child abuse” based on a legal opinion from then-Attorney General Paxton.

Baylor med school and Baylor University are no longer affiliated entities.

Documents obtained by Chris Rufo of the Manhattan Institute, however, revealed that the Houston-based hospital quietly continued transitioning children while receiving specialized training from Baylor in the form of a January grand rounds presentation. Most of the hospital’s staff is comprised of Baylor physicians, according to its website.

Rufo released medical records showing that several doctors, including faculty at the  medical school, gave puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or transgender surgical procedures to adolescents and older children after the hospital said it would stop transitioning minors.

Dr. Kristy Rialon, a surgeon who is an assistant professor at Baylor, performed surgery on an 11-year-old “male-to-female transgender person” to insert a “drug delivery implant” just three days after the announcement, the records showed.

Rufo reported that TCH removed Rialon’s profile page from its website after he exposed this activity. Rialon then deleted her Twitter account.

The College Fix asked BCM’s media team in a May 18 email why it is helping the hospital resume the treatments despite its prior statement and whether the college is giving similar assistance to any of its other nearby affiliates but did not receive a response.

Paxton announced his investigation the next day, and The Fix asked BCM in a follow-up email if it would pause any of its instruction on transgender treatments. The college’s media team didn’t respond.

Paxton, a Republican, has requested that the children’s hospital turn over a trove of documents related to its policies on transgender “care” for children.

Texas Children’s Hospital told the Houston Chronicle that it has not canceled any appointments related to these procedures.

Leaked videos show Baylor doctors acknowledging risks of youth ‘gender affirmation’

The leaked video of the grand rounds presentation features doctors Richard Roberts and Katherine Gallagher, describing them as assistant professors at BCM and part of TCH’s “Transgender Care Team.”

Roberts, an endocrinologist, presents a slide showing a child’s recommended “gender-affirmation process,” which begins with “social affirmation” at “any” age and continues with puberty blockers “during puberty” and cross-sex hormones at “early adolescence onward.”

The surgical removal of sexual organs in pursuit of a transgender identity “typically” happens during adulthood, but these procedures are open to minors “on a case-by-case basis,” according to the slide.

Roberts explains that, during this process, he will often ask a gender dysphoric child whether they “are comfortable” with him using their “preferred name” and chosen pronouns in front of their parent. He said that secrecy is sometimes necessary because “not every patient who is gender-diverse may have [a] safe environment at home.”

With another slide, Roberts discusses the numerous negative effects of the hormone “therapy” he provides to children. It noted that boys who take estrogen and girls who take testosterone both face an increased risk of infertility, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.

The slide also lists sex-specific risks, such as erectile dysfunction for boys and polycythemia, which is a harmful increase in red blood cells, for girls.

The speakers nonetheless argue that these and other interventions are “medically-necessary” and “life-saving.”

Rufo has posted other clips on social media that show BCM speakers’ embrace of transgenderism for children. Some of the hospital and BCM staff he identified have reportedly locked down or deleted their Twitter accounts.

Medical advocacy group says there is ‘no other choice’ but legislation against transitioning children

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, criticized academia’s role in the nationwide push for “gender-affirming care” in a comment to The Fix. His group is working to pushback against politicized medicine.

“Medical societies have all come out in support of this activity and medical society memberships and leadership are mostly composed of leaders of academic institutions,” Goldfarb said. “The academic world has come in squarely behind so-called gender affirming care in contradistinction to the actual scientific literature[,] which suggests that it harms many and helps few[,] if any.”

Goldfarb called for legislative action to curb these practices.

“It’s unfortunate that public officials need to weigh in on issues of medical care, but in the name of protecting children, I see no other choice but the legislative route to restrain hospitals and academic medical centers from performing surgeries or treating children with drugs that can change their future and their reproductive lives,” Goldfarb said.

Goldfarb said it is “hard to know” precisely why physicians tried to keep the hospital’s procedures secret.

MORE: Red states fund pediatric university gender clinics

IMAGE: Texas Children’s Hospital slides obtained by Chris Rufo

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Hudson Crozier is a student at the University of North Texas studying journalism and political science. He is senior contributor for Upward News and has also written for The Federalist, Red Liberty Media, and others.