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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
A new Public Health bill that has been drafted by two Republican lawmakers aims 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.” Lamberth said, “Through the passage of House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, Tennessee will protect vulnerable children who cannot give informed consent for adult decisions they aren’t ready for.”
The summary of HB0001/SB0001 sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (Portland – District 44) and Senator Jack Johnson (Brentwood – District 23) states, “As introduced, prohibits a healthcare provider from performing on a minor or administering to a minor a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”
The bill also states that surgical gender affirming care can lead to minors becoming irreversibly sterile, have increased risk of disease or illness, or suffer from adverse or sometimes fatal psychological consequences. The bill continues, “Moreover, the legislature finds it likely that not all harmful effects associated with these types of medical procedures when performed on a minor are yet fully known, as many of these procedures… are experimental in nature and not supported by high-quality, long-term medical studies.
Language in the bill also recognizes that minors lack the maturity to make decisions that will have “life-altering consequences” and note that many individuals have ended up regretting having had gender transition surgery and medical treatment that involved puberty blockers and “gender affirming” hormones.
The bill also points a finger at pharmaceutical companies who had a hand in the opioid crisis, asserting that they “sought to profit” from administration of drugs currently used in gender transition care.
If the bill becomes law, gender transition surgery would no longer be allowed to be performed on any children under 18 in the state. An exception would be made for minors if they had already begun treatment before the date of passage of the bill. If it passes, it would not go into effect until July 1, 2023.
Children who are born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects would likewise be exempted from the law.
The attorney general would be required by the new law to establish processes for reporting violations and would also allow children to bring a civil cause of action against their parents if they consented on behalf of the minor. Courts would be allowed to impose a $25,000 penalty per violation. In addition, a healthcare provider who breaks the law could have action taken against them up to 20 years after the violation.
“Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong,” said Lamberth. “Tennesseans across our state have demanded an immediate call to action.”
The 113th Tennessee General Assembly will convene January 10th, 2023.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.