The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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University Health Services to stop offering gender-affirming care starting Aug. 1

The+outside+of+Beutel+Health+Center+on+Monday%2C+October+23%2C+2023.
Photo by Kaili Gaston
The outside of Beutel Health Center on Monday, October 23, 2023.

A University Health Services announcement sent on July 1 said the Beutel Student Health Center will no longer offer gender-affirming care as of Aug. 1. 

“We understand that this news may come as a disappointment to students who have relied on our practice for these services,” the statement reads. “Please know that this decision was made after thorough assessment of our resources, capabilities and patient needs.” 

Gender-affirming care means services intended to treat gender dysphoria, a condition where a person’s assigned gender and gender identity don’t match. Treatment includes counseling, medications that block puberty and hormone therapy to produce physical changes. 

The announcement sent to students by the University Health Services informing them of the updated policy.

The Student Health Services decision comes as the service was targeted by conservative outlet Texas Scorecard, which published an article in February degrading the treatment and A&M’s stance. Scorecard articles resulted in the failed hiring of Kathleen McElroy as the journalism director last year and the suspension of Rick Olshak this year, a Title IX official criticized for his stance on transgender involvement in sports.

The article focuses on Transcend, an independent student organization on campus that describes itself as an “organization for the transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming and gender-questioning community at Texas A&M University and the Bryan-College Station area.”

“Transcend also serves as a reminder to trans[gender] communities in BCS that there are others like them, and despite Brazos County’s anti-LGBTQ+ reputation, they have a space and a community,” their website reads.

The Scorecard article uses Transcend’s presentation materials as its basis, citing a slide that said students can go to Beutel Health Center if they wish to undergo hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. A follow-up open records request revealed A&M provided 26 HRT prescriptions in 2019, 60 in 2021, 85 in 2022 and 127 in 2023. A&M noted these are the number of prescriptions, “not the number of individuals” who were provided prescriptions, Scorecard wrote. 

A university spokesperson said A&M does not pay for student healthcare, and appointments for transgender care are paid for solely by the students. 

“Treatment plans are collaboratively developed between the patient and their healthcare provider,” the university spokesperson told Scorecard. “No gender-affirming surgeries are performed at UHS. … Of the 48,192 office visit services in 2023, University Health Services reported that 44 students — all consenting adults — paid for gender affirming care treatment at UHS. Those 44 students went to a total of 129 appointments.”

The Scorecard article continued by breaking down Transcend’s presentation, including details on campus doctors and administrators and their stance on transgender therapy. It then criticizes various initiatives on campus, including LGBTQ+ group counseling services, claiming A&M was “pushing this ideology.”

It concluded by listing the contact information for each A&M Board of Regents member, saying “concerned citizens” could contact them. 

The July 1 Student Health Services announcement said those affected by the change in policy should contact nurse leaders Kristen Lavigne or Joscelyn Blevins at 979-458-4584 after pressing option two for medical.

“We are committed to supporting all our patients in their healthcare journey,” the statement reads. “Our team can assist you in finding alternative gender affirming care from compassionate providers with expertise in this area.”  

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Gutteridge
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor
Nicholas Gutteridge joined The Battalion in January 2023 as a news reporter before being promoted to news editor in August 2023. He interned at The Pentagon in Washington D.C. from January to May 2024 with the U.S. Air Force Office of Public Affairs before rejoining the newspaper. He will be the managing editor for the 2024-25 academic year.
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