States are pushing back on the growing use of surgical procedures and hormonal “treatments” to change children’s sex.
Transgender issues have been a priority in many state legislatures, and more than half of the states have tried to pass restrictions on transgender treatments for minors.
For example, Virginia’s House of Delegates passed Sage’s Law, which would require public school employees to inform parents if a child identifies as another sex, but the bill is stuck in committee in the state Senate. Iowa’s Senate passed a ban on the use of bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools by individuals of the other sex. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed into law a bill that restricts hormonal transgender treatment and allows individuals to bring medical malpractice actions.
State attorneys general have also taken action. In Missouri, after whistleblower Jamie Reed revealed patient abuses at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, state AG Andrew Bailey (R) launched an investigation. The probe discovered that when a whole group of fifth-grade girls identified as transgender, a clinician at the center advised their teacher to affirm their identities and not question them. Bailey’s office said professional licenses could be revoked if they have violated regulations.
Making It Child Abuse
In Michigan, a group of Republican legislators introduced HB 4257, which would classify gender transitioning of minors as first-degree child abuse, punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment.
Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers) and seven colleagues reintroduced the measure in March to coincide with a Democratic bill to codify gender identity as a privileged class under the state’s civil rights act.
Carra voted against the civil rights bill, arguing that it will lead to frivolous lawsuits by rejected job candidates who allege they were passed on because of their gender identity.
“I think that making other people recognize what you identify as, and not what you actually are, and calling that a privileged class, is not appropriate,” said Carra.
Michigan would be the second state, after Alabama, to make gender transition treatments on minors a felony. The bill only applies to minors; like the Alabama law, it does not restrict the choices of adults who undergo transitioning surgery or hormonal treatments.
Mental Health Concerns
Carra says transitioning minors is bad for their mental health, citing a long-term study in Sweden that found individuals who underwent sex reassignment surgery had a 20-fold suicide rate compared to the general population.
“It is not helping the kid,” said Carra “They need a healthier lifestyle that is not going to lead to mental health issues.”
Children should be protected from “harmful and life-altering decisions” such as puberty blockers and reassignment surgery, says Carra.
Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville), a co-sponsor of Carra’s bill, says transitioning children is an “extreme solution” to gender dysphoria and gender-altering care is simply not fit for a developing child.
“There have been instances of people who regret receiving gender-altering treatments, and a child should not be allowed to receive treatments that cannot be undone,” said Meerman.
‘Reproductive Rights’ in Minnesota
Minnesota, however, is following in the footsteps of California by becoming a sanctuary state for child transgender transitioning.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed executive order 23-03 that, in part, makes the state a transitioning tourism state, explicitly allowing children to travel to Minnesota for “gender-affirming” services, on March 8.
Access to transgender “treatments” and abortion is a partisan issue in the state, says Matt Dean, a senior health policy fellow at the Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Health Care News, and a former Minnesota state legislator.
“In Minnesota, Democrats who control both chambers of the legislature as well as the governor’s office, introduced as HF 1 and SF 1, bills to codify ‘reproductive rights,’” said Dean.
The bill’s language has been interpreted to include “puberty blockers as well as breast and genital reconstructive surgery,” and parents have found their children have the right to receive puberty blockers without their consent, says Dean.
Goalposts Moved Left
The political climate has been particularly difficult, says Carra.
“The far-left continues to move the goalposts further and further left, (whereas) Republicans tend to be more passive, and timid and move to the left as well,” said Carra. “We can’t just continue to have society move further and further left toward more government intrusion in our lives, more central planning, more ripping apart of the nuclear family and destruction of Christianity.”
A more libertarian approach is needed, says Carra.
“I think we need to make the arguments based on freedom and the nonaggression principle,” said Carra. “We have to inspire people and stand up for what we believe in instead of just being passive and timid.”
Society Changed Radically, Rapidly
Transgender ideology and socialist ideas have spread quickly over the past three years, says Dean.
“The pandemic lockdowns of 2020, together with the social upheaval surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests of that summer, created an environment to radically change America through legislation and executive action,” Dean said.
Corrective action is needed to the excesses of transgender activism, says Dean.
“States should defend the interests of vulnerable children from those who are attempting to sexualize them or coerce them into making irreversible decisions about their ability to have children of their own someday,” said Dean.
Harry Painter (email@example.com) writes from Oklahoma.