Ban On “Gender Affirming” Care For Children In TN, Passed by House Civil Justice Committee 

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

On February 15th, 2023, Rep. William Lamberth’s (R-Portland-District 44) House Bill 0001 (HB0001) was passed by voice vote in a meeting of the House Civil Justice Committee.

Rep. Lamberth opened by saying, “This is a very straightforward bill […] for puberty blockers, hormones, some of the surgeries that have been done on minors for these particular purposes, it would prohibit those medical practices in Tennessee, for all the reasons that have been stated in both health sub[committee], [and] health full [committee].”

Members of the Civil Justice Committee then heard multiple public testimonies against HB0001, including a statement from an eighteen-year-old transgender student out of Williamson County, who told committee members that the bill “endangers those who you say you are protecting and masquerades as love and care, but [it] is really about control and fear.”

Later in response to a question from Rep. Bill Beck (D-Nashville-District 61), the student said, “I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have the future that I’m going to have, if I didn’t have the healthcare I needed and didn’t have the support I needed from my doctors and my therapists.”

The opposition of this bill has held onto the idea that if it wasn’t for this “gender-affirming healthcare” a large number of transgender youth would no longer be alive. However, many of the cited studies don’t provide actual proof that rates of suicide and suicidal ideation go down or stay down in the long-term, following this type of treatment. 

One mother of three also brought up the potential side effects of other medications commonly prescribed to children.

“Seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, neurological deficits, these are the potential serious side effects of insulin given to children with diabetes. Irreversible heart damage, irreversible lung damage, secondary cancer, infertility, these are potential serious side effects of children given chemotherapy. […] Are we going to prevent these children from getting medications as well?” she asked.

Another mother of a transgender child voiced concern on the idea that with the passage of this bill, her child would have to stop taking the puberty blockers that they had already been taking for a year and a half. 

“My daughter turns fifteen this weekend […] As this bill stands, it means she would have to stop her [puberty] blockers […] It would cause real physical, medical harm. Real mental health harm.”

The last public testimony was given by Kathy Sinback, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee, who called the bill unconstitutional and stated that the ACLU of TN would sue if the bill received passage.

Ultimately, the committee finished out strong by voting in favor of HB0001 through a voice vote. The bill will now be sent to the House floor for further consideration.

Democrat representatives Beck, Harris, Jernigan, Parkinson, and Powell did request that their “nay” votes be displayed on public record. 

Given the Tennessee General Assembly’s Republican majority along with the recent passage of the corresponding Senate Bill, SB0001, earlier this week, it is likely that HB0001 will maintain a similar outcome to its Senate version.

Read more about the passage of Senate Bill 0001 here.

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee.

One thought on “Ban On “Gender Affirming” Care For Children In TN, Passed by House Civil Justice Committee 

  • February 19, 2023 at 2:24 am

    From what I’ve witnessed mental & emotional therapy are tricky, the effectiveness rests w.the parents/guardian & the quality of medical staff.
    All the while the adults in the room must check their personal bias at the door.
    Minimum age should be 21. Human brain takes 25 yrs to mature
    No public funds ever.
    Its a life time of treatment, and medical issues


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