Following its Feb. 25 official statement in response to the Texas governor and attorney general’s actions Feb. 18-22 that threaten the health and well-being of transgender youth, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) joined more than 20 health care organizations in an amicus brief on March 10 in the Doe v. Abbott litigation. The lawsuit challenges the attorney general’s non-binding legal opinion that gender-affirming health care services constitute child abuse and the governor’s directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents/caregivers who seek care for their transgender youth and the health care providers who provide that care as child abuse cases.
Developed and approved by experts who are not parties in the case, the amicus brief provides relevant, evidence-based information for the court to consider prior to its ruling. It highlights publications from fellow amici, World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the Endocrine Society, that are the most widely accepted and used medical guidelines for treating gender dysphoria. These guidelines are used by pediatric-focused APRNs and their fellow pediatric providers to expertly assess and care for youth with gender dysphoria.
NAPNAP strongly believes that providing evidence-based health care to improve physical and mental health outcomes for transgender youth does not equate to child abuse and pediatric experts should not be persecuted and punished for taking care of their patients. In its position statement Health Risks and Needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth, NAPNAP notes its opposition to all forms of discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation, gender conformity and gender identity, while encouraging pediatric clinicians and advocates to speak out against discrimination and/or victimization of LGBTQIA+ youth. Further, it recommends that health care providers as well as the health care environment should support and promote an LGBTQIA+ safe space for all youth and an atmosphere of acceptance to facilitate health care interactions.
NAPNAP is also an amici in Brandt, et al. v. Rutledge, et al. filed in federal district court to overturn a law prohibiting clinicians in Arkansas from performing or referring pediatric patients for medical treatments that have been roundly endorsed by the health care community and empirically proven to reduce the distress of transgender adolescents at risk for or suffering from gender dysphoria. In 2021, 20 states introduced legislation limiting or prohibiting transgender health care for youth. As experts in pediatrics and advocates for children, NAPNAP will continue to advocate for equitable, accessible, high quality, evidence-based physical and mental health care for all children, adolescents and young adults.
March 11, 2022