The Tennessee legislature is considering a bill that, if passed, will make medical gender transition procedures illegal in the state.
Called the Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act, the bill was introduced by Majority Leaders William Lamberth and Jack Johnson. Both are Republicans.
According to The Daily Wire, the bill “effectively bar[s] doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and performing gender-related surgeries on minors for the purpose of medical transition.”
The bill also allows patients of such procedures (and their families) to sue medical offices for damages. Further, the bill will enable courts to levy $25,000 in penalties for each offense.
Rep. Johnson said: “This bill is about protecting children. Under no circumstances should minors be allowed to undergo irreversible elective procedures to mutilate body parts and intentionally harm their reproductive systems. This practice comes with lifelong health complications that children are not capable of understanding.”
According to The Daily Wire, the Republican lawmakers determined to draft the bill two months ago after Daily Wire host Matt Walsh released a viral video of a doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville (VUMC) referring to gender-transition procedures as “huge money makers.”
Walsh’s video also shows staff telling potential team members there is no place for dissent on the issue of condoning gender transition procedures. Those with objections were told to leave.
After the release of the video, Tennessee State representatives sent a strongly worded letter to VUMC after which they “paused” all gender transition surgeries on children.
Recent reporting on the negative and long-term impact of gender-transitioning drugs and the emotional turmoil many experience after gender transition surgeries has raised national awareness and concerns.
The rise of groups lamenting their gender transition procedures has amplified the need to review the ethics and efficacy of allowing minors to make decisions without guardian approval regarding receiving permanent “gender-affirming” care.
The Daily Wire noted that “none of the U.S.-based organizations that endorse ‘gender-affirming’ care have done systematic reviews of the evidence.” The outlet also noted that countries that have studied the issue, notably Sweden, Finland and England, have found that the negatives outweigh the positives.
Also in the news is Florida’s recent approval of a code prohibiting minors from receiving gender transition surgeries, puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. The ban is the first of its kind in the country that was issued by a state medical board.
Rep. Lamberth said: “Tennesseans across our state have demanded an immediate call to action. Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong.”
Lamberth added: “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 Tennessee bill, which will go before the 113th Tennessee General Assembly after they convene on January 10, 2023, makes an exception for providing hormones or surgeries for children born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects that result in developmental sex conditions.