GOP State Lawmakers Craft Bills to Ban Child Gender Transition Treatment

Transgender boy Damian of New York takes part in the NYC Pride March as part of World Pride commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Three Republican lawmakers in three states, including Kentucky where elections will be held on Tuesday, are crafting legislation to protect children from controversial gender transition treatment such as puberty-blocking drugs or surgery.

Kentucky State Rep. Savannah Maddox (R) wrote in a recent Facebook post that she “began drafting a bill designed to protect children under the age of 18 from gender reassignment surgery or from receiving drug treatments designed to alter their natal gender.”

“I am a strong advocate for parents’ rights — but it is not the right of a parent to permanently alter a child’s gender or identity, even when based upon certain behaviors or the perceptions of a child’s mind which has not yet had time to fully develop,” Maddox wrote.

As Breitbart News reported, Georgia State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart (R) is not targeting youth whose parents claim they want to change their gender but the medical profession and its role in giving children life-altering, gender-changing treatment. Her legislation would make the practice a felony.

“We’re talking about children that can’t get a tattoo or smoke a cigar or a cigarette in the state of Georgia but can be castrated and get sterilized,” Ehrhart said.

Breitbart News reported on Ehrhart’s legislation and reaction to it:

In the press release, Ehrhart quoted an Atlanta-based pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, who agrees children should be protected from “medical experimentation based on wishful social theory.”

“These children are suffering from a psychological condition without biologic basis,” Van Meter said. “Using the bludgeon of threatened suicide as justification is first of all cruel, and secondly, not supported by valid published studies.”

Van Meter is president of the American College of Pediatricians.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ehrhart was motivated to draft a bill after the story broke about a seven-year-old boy in Texas whose mother wanted to “transition” him to be a girl, while his father disagreed with the plan.

A judge last week ruled that the parents, who are divorced, would make joint decisions for the child, including medical treatment.

Ehrhart also said, “There may be some implication for the responsibility of the parent to subject the child to this sort of dangerous medical intervention.”

Meanwhile, in Texas, another Republican is also taking action to protect children.

“Republican Texas Rep. Matt Krause said he would introduce a bill that ‘prohibits the use of puberty blockers in these situations for children under 18’ in the next legislative session,” NBC reported.

And some medical professionals don’t support drugs or surgery for children under 18, according to the NBC report:

The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) recommends deferring genital surgery until a person is at least 18 years old. Even so, only a quarter of transgender people have had some sort of gender-affirming surgical procedure, according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey.

“There are no medical treatments for children before puberty of any sort, and there are no surgeries,” Joshua Safer, executive director of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, told Endocrine Today.

“There are no medical treatments for children before puberty of any sort, and there are no surgeries,” Safer said in the NBC report.

But LGBT activists are reporting that these lawmakers are “targeting transgender” children, including a report in the left-wing website The Advocate:

A Facebook user named Jackson Kleinbasch commented on Maddox’s post, saying, “As one with a Masters in Science in Adolescent Education, parent of a transgender teen who is an honor student and volunteers more than any of the 762 students in her grade, and spouse of a two-time veteran, I can tell you that your ignorance is such a shame.”

“My kid, upon the age of 3, was identifying as the gender opposite than assigned at birth,” the user shared on the page. “Gender is not determined by what is between one’s legs, but by the brain. This bill is horrendous and wrong.”

“And your support for it is detestable.”

Ehrhart was elected in the 2018 midterm election so she is not on the ballot on Tuesday in Kentucky.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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