OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:00 AM – Sunday, December 24, 2023
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested for the Seattle Children’s Hospital to provide records including gender-affirming care given to children in Texas.
This month, Seattle Children’s Hospital filed a lawsuit against the Texas Office of the Attorney General to restrict the release of patient data after the organization delivered the Washington-based hospital a subpoena for investigation requesting patient records from Texans receiving care related to transition.
Seattle Children’s Hospital filed a lawsuit in Austin, Texas, asking a court to “invalidate or narrow” the requests from Paxton, who has supported Republican initiatives aimed at limiting transgender rights.
Texas is one of the 20 states in the nation that have passed legislation limiting or outlawing gender-affirming medical care for minors who identify as transgender.
According to court documents on Friday, the lawsuit filed by the Seattle hospital has not yet been decided.
The Seattle hospital asserted that Paxton’s office was “overstepping” its governance and had “no right” to ask for the particular records.
“Additionally, the Demands represent an unconstitutional attempt to investigate and chill potential interstate commerce and travel for Texas residents to another state,” the lawsuit claims.
A spokesperson for Seattle Children’s Hospital, whose name is Ashley Speller, wrote in an emailed statement that it “complies with the law and went to court to protect private patient information related to gender-affirming care services at our organization.”
In November, the Seattle hospital initially received the request from Texas.
The letter from Paxton’s office, which is included in the lawsuit, makes several requests of the hospital, including identifying the medication given to Texas-resident children, the quantity of Texas-resident children who received treatment, and records identifying the “standard protocol or guidance” used for treatment.
The Seattle hospital asserted that it “cannot respond” to the letter under a legislation penned by Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) that aims to safeguard minors looking for gender-affirming healthcare in Washington.
This law was a part of a wave of laws this year in left-winged states meant to provide protection in the face of a conservative movement in which legislators in other states have restricted or completely banned gender-affirming medical care for minors and attacked transgender rights.
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