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Texas Governor Gregg Abbot has begun instructing healthcare professionals that hormone therapy is 'child abuse.' Photo by Carrington Tatum on

Greg Abbot targets trans children and parents:

Texas Governor Greg Abbot instructed state health agencies to consider medical treatments provided to transgender children, such as hormones and puberty suppressing drugs, as “child abuse.”

In a letter, Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton quoted chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code, stating sex change operations can cause “mental or emotional injury to a child that results in an observable and material impairment in the child’s growth, development, or psychological functioning.”

Just as with the abortion laws Texas recently attempted to pass, their plan of attack is to come at the situation from all sides. 

The reporting requirements apply to “all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse.”

In his first State of the Union Address this week, President Biden condemned state laws targeting transgender people. 

Biden announced a five-step plan to protect transgender children and their families in response to Abbott’s order. He condemned the governor’s actions, calling them ploys to earn political points.

Americans on both sides of the issue have taken steps to fight their case: the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to prevent the government from targeting adolescents and their parents. Last year a Dallas health care program for transgender children had to shut down after it became a  target of conservative criticism.

In Harris County, the state’s largest county, and in several others, cases against gender-affirming care authorities have said the charges will not receive prosecution.

Lower Omicron numbers beget higher employment:

The surge in omicron numbers over the holidays at the end of 2021 led to many people staying home from work and vacation. Many believed this would raise unemployment again and continue to tank our fragile economy from COVID-19. 

However, recent numbers prove the opposite.

As the highly contagious but milder symptom variant of COVID-19 died down, more people searched for jobs and fewer people called in sick; many have wondered if an end to the pandemic is finally in sight.

Several businesses have begun requiring employees to go back into the office, driving a steady flow of patrons to restaurants, car washes, dry cleaners and gyms. 

U.S. employers added 678,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, the lowest level since the pandemic.

These numbers could reinforce Biden’s statement during the State of the Union that his $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package contributed directly to the solid economic rebound.

“If we see more numbers like this moving forward, we can be optimistic about this year,” said Nick Bunker, research director at Indeed.

Layoffs are at a new low, job openings a new high, yet the share of workers quitting jobs remains near the highest on record, and many workers are still scrambling to get enough hours.

As virus cases continue to decline and Americans’ savings deplete, many have projected those numbers to continue to rise through the spring.