Texas Hospital Denies Outside Influence Caused Termination of Transgender Program

April 20, 2022 in News by RBN Staff


Source:  The Epoch Times


HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 27: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during the Houston Region Business Coalition’s monthly meeting on October 27, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Abbott spoke on Texas’ economic achievements and gave an update on the state’s business environment. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Hospital leaders tell judge they alone terminated transgender youth treatments

By Patrick Butler

Two hospital leaders have denied that outside influence—including from the state government—led to the termination of the transgender program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in November 2021.

UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel Podolsky and CEO John J. Warner told a Texas judge on April 11 that they rescinded some medical treatments in November 2021 from their own considerations and not because of “third party” pressures.

In a letter read by their attorney to Judge Melissa Bellan, Podolsky and Warner said that no entity or individual “made or directed them” to amend the program.

“The decision was made to suspend the initiating hormone treatment for new pediatric patients as it was believed that if they failed to do so, that it would put then entire GENECIS program in jeopardy,” the letter stated.

Judge Melissa Bellan ruled on April 14 that the UT leaders must file online depositions within two weeks.

The ruling was part of a legal challenge brought on April 13 by Dr. Ximena Lopez, the former director of the transgender project.

Lopez alleged that “outside pressure” from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott contributed to the ending of certain aspects of her sex-change program, called GENECIS, in late 2021.

Epoch Times Photo
Chelsea Rachel, 32, specifically came to the polls to vote against Greg Abbott on primary day March 1, 2022. Pro-Choice issues were a main concern for her. (Patrick Butler/The Epoch Times)

GENECIS stands for the “Gender Education and Care, Interdisciplinary Support.”

Lopez filed a 202 petition in March to obtain documents and any communications related to the project. A 202 petition is a legal forerunner of a lawsuit.

She also sought legal approval for UT leaders to be deposed and questioned under oath.

Lopez disputed that account during the hearings, testifying that she was told by hospital leaders that the office of Gov. Greg Abbott pressured hospital administrators to change transgender services for some patients.

In November 2021, UT Southwestern discontinued the GENECIS name and began referring new patients seeking gender-change chemicals including puberty blockers and hormone therapy to other providers.

UT Southwestern said in a statement in November 2021, “GENECIS was never a stand-alone clinic and was not ‘closed’ as has been misreported in the media. The decision to remove the GENECIS program branding was made to provide a more private experience for patients and families.”

The Texas Legislature attempted to curtail the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy during the 2021 session but failed to pass a bill.

‘Misguided Ideology’

On February 21, 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding opinion that called some medical treatments for minors “child abuse.”

Paxton said that “performing certain ‘sex-change’ procedures on children and prescribing puberty-blockers to them is ‘child abuse’ under Texas law. The holding comes at a critical time when more and more Texans are seeing the horrors that flow from the merging of medicine and misguided ideology.”

Gov. Gregg Abbott followed up Paxton’s opinion with a directive on Feb. 22 to the Texas Department of Child and Family Services.

“The Office of the Attorney General has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called ‘sex change’ procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law.

“Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas,” Abbott’s letter read.

Since Abbott’s directive, nine investigations have been opened but are stalled as court challenges to the policy are in progress.

UT Southwestern Medical Center said it would not comment on pending litigation.