Dec 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Seattle hospital sues Texas AG over demands for details on trans minors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has made "sham requests" seeking to force Seattle Children's Hospital t0 provide details of Texas residents who've received gender-affirming care, alleges a lawsuit from the nonprofit health care provider.

Why it matters: Seattle Children's Hospital said in its lawsuit that Paxton's office claimed it was investigating potential violations of Texas' ban on gender-affirming care for minors, but Washington's recently passed "Shield Law" protected it from subpoenas from states seeking to "restrict or criminalize reproductive and gender-affirming care."

  • "Furthermore, the Demands are an unconstitutional attempt to investigate and chill potential travel by Texas residents to obtain healthcare in another state," adds the petition that seeks to prevent the release of patient information to the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Details: Paxton's office stated on Nov. 17 it was investigating the hospital for "misrepresentations" and potential violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and gave it until Dec. 7 to respond, according to court filings dated on Dec. 7 that were first reported by Austin's KXAN-TV this week.

The big picture: The Texas Attorney General's Office demands represent the latest aggressive action by Paxton against transgender people.

Zoom out: Texas is one of several Republican-led states seeking to place restrictions on transgender health care.

  • More than 100 pieces of legislation introduced in state legislatures this year have focused on banning aspects of gender-affirming medical care.
  • Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, consider this type of care to be medically necessary and potentially lifesaving for transgender youth.

Go deeper: Texas orders state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for trans kids as child abuse

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