The ruling came after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state's Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the family of a 16-year-old transgender girl identified as "Mary Doe." Abbott had called on state officials to consider medically accepted treatments for transgender youth, such as hormones and puberty suppressants, as abuse. Mary Doe's family filed a lawsuit when investigators began requesting medical records related to their daughter's treatment.
All investigations were temporarily halted in March after District Judge Amy Clark Meachum found Abbott's orders to have been "improperly adopted and violated the State Constitution." The appeals court believed officials shouldn't proceed with the inquiry as it would cause "irreparable harm" to the family who initiated the lawsuit.
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The Friday ruling allows for Texas families to once again be investigated, but it does so while also permitting "the injunction to remain in place for one family who launched a lawsuit," Pink News writes, noting that "DFPS confirmed in March that it had opened nine 'child abuse' investigations into the supportive families of trans youth in the state."
NPR called Friday's decision "a blow to Texas families with transgender children, some of whom are departing the state or considering moves." The Associated Press, however, reports that Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a counsel and health care strategist for Lambda Legal, suggested "the state would be foolish to do so now because those families could also seek an injunction."
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