Image Credit: vanderbilthealth.org
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Last week, we reported that legislation was presented and considered during the last session of the Tennessee General Assembly that would have prevented Vanderbilt’s mutilation of minors but it was killed in the Senate. Now, some Republican legislators are stating that new legislation is likely in 2023 that would effectively remove Vanderbilt’s ability to perform transgender surgeries.
Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge-District 5) and Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin-District 18) have stated that they expect a bill dealing with “transgender medical care” to be sponsored when the 113th General Assembly convenes.
The Tennessee Lookout reports that Haile has two concerns – making sure Vanderbilt follows state law and ensuring that hospitals don’t find loopholes.
McNally said he believes “sexual reassignment” surgery should be delayed until a person is past puberty, even if parents give consent, because of the long-term impact on the patient.
“I think in many cases, the individual, the child, later in life has difficulty with what’s happened, and I think it’s better to wait and make sure that’s what they need to do, if the parents and child are considering having something like that done,” said McNally.
Prior to all the media coverage of Vanderbilt’s Transgender Clinic brought about by an investigation by Matt Walsh, Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16) and Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge-District 33) worked for two years to pass legislation that, had it passed, would have prevented transgender surgeries for minors in Tennessee.
However, enough Republicans in the Senate didn’t support their bills that the legislation never made it to the floor for a vote.
House Bill 0578 (HB0578), sponsored by Representative Ragan and Senate Bill 0657 (SB0567), sponsored by Senator Bowling , as introduced, would have prohibited the provision of sexual identity change therapy to prepubescent minors; prohibit the provision of sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians; punishes violations as child abuse; and designates violations by healthcare professionals as professional misconduct.
HB0578 was first filed for introduction on February 5th, 2021 and was heard by various committees. Action was deferred multiple times over the course of two years. Most recently the bill was placed on the House Health Committee calendar for February 9th, 2022 and they chose to defer to the Special Calendar to be published with the Final Calendar in the House Health Committee.
The Senate didn’t move on SB0567 in 2022, but referred it to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11, 2021.
Representative Ragan said, “After successfully getting through two House committees, I did not push this bill after being informed that it was dead in the Senate.”
The “Youth Health Protection Act,” also sponsored by Senator Bowling and Representative Ragan would have prevented healthcare providers from treating minors without parental consent, with exceptions for minors seeking treatment in certain situations.
Points of Interest about this legislation:
• Prohibits practices to be performed to facilitate the minor’s desire to present or appear in a manner that is inconsistent with the minor’s sex without the good faith medical decision of a parent or guardian of a minor born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sexual development.
• Prohibits penalties or adverse action against an individual who gives or receives counsel, advice, guidance, or other speech or communication, whether described as therapy or provided for a fee, consistent with conscience or religious belief.
• Prohibits infringement upon parent’s fundamental right to care for a child including the right to withhold consent for a treatment, activity, or mental healthcare service that is designed and intended to form the child’s conceptions of sex and gender or to treat gender dysphoria or gender nonconformity.
• Offers whistleblower protection for those report violations of the proposed law.
• Offers Civil Remedies – A civil action for compensatory or special damages, injunctive relief, or other relief available under law may be brought by a person for a violation of a provision of this part against a medical professional, healthcare entity, government agent, or other individual or entity responsible for the violation.
• Limitation on use of State Funds – Funds of this state or a political subdivision of this state must not be used, directly or indirectly, for the performance of or in furtherance of gender transition procedures or to support the administration of a governmental health plan or government-offered insurance policy offering gender transition procedures.
The Youth Health Protection Act was filed for introduction in the House and Senate on February 2nd, 2022 and faced a similar history as HB0578/SB0567 – multiple deferrals, etc. until it was “General subbed” in the Health and Welfare committee in the Senate which means the Senate had no interest in pursuing its passage in the last session. Following, the House version of the bill was taken off notice.
Representative Ragan said, “As with the previously cited HB 578, I did not push this bill after being informed that it was dead in the Senate.“
Representative Ragan told The Tennessee Conservative that he already has another similar bill in draft but the push for its passage depends upon whether he is reelected to office.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com