Image Credit: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
In response to a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) in Memphis has said that gender-affirming care is only temporarily paused while such services are reviewed.
MLH has stated that its practices regarding treatment of transgender and/or non-binary patients remains unchanged.
Spokesperson Rachel Powers stated that inquiries from some care providers regarding gender-affirming treatment at a MLH facility triggered a temporary halt to such procedures while a review of hospital practices is conducted.
Last week, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) in Memphis was issued an ultimatum by the ACLU-TN after the hospital canceled surgery for a 19-year-old transgender patient.
ACLU-TN Staff Attorney Lucas Cameron-Vaughn called the hospital’s decision “discriminatory” and threatened to report MLH to the federal government if they didn’t reschedule the surgery before the end of December.
The ACLU-TN’s knee jerk reaction was evidently unnecessary as Powers has said that patients are indeed being rescheduled.
Earlier this year, gender-affirming surgeries were halted for minors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after pushback from state Republican lawmakers.
In a letter led by Representative Jason Zachary and signed by 62 House GOP representatives, that was then sent to Vanderbilt, it was stated, “The Vanderbilt Pediatric Transgender Clinic’s practices qualify as nothing less than abuse…We, the elected representative body of the state of Tennessee, ask members of the VUMC Board of Directors to take immediate action by halting all permanent gender transitioning surgeries being performed on minor children… Tennesseans across our state have demanded a swift response and a call to action. We agree that these revelations require the legislature to act immediately.”
The Tennessee General Assembly will soon reconvene and a new Public Health bill has been drafted already by two Republican lawmakers aiming to ban gender transition procedures on children.
The “Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act” prohibits any medical treatment that “alters a child’s hormonal balance” and procedures “that remove their organs to enable the minor to identify as a gender different from their biological sex.”
If the bill becomes law, it will provide some of the nation’s strongest protections for minors within the realm of “gender affirming care.”
There has been no call from Republican leadership to end gender surgeries or other transgender care for adults in the state.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.