By Jonathon Van Maren
As the trend of “de-transitioners”—people who have realized that sex change surgery and hormone treatments did not help them in their struggle with gender dysphoria—continues to grow, at least one state is considering legislation that will put the brakes on children embarking on so-called treatments that will permanently alter their bodies. Trans activists have been aggressively pushing the “affirmative model,” which stipulates that children be placed on the path to treatment within a stunningly short amount of time after manifesting gender dysphoria, for some years now. According to the Huffington Post:
Lawmakers in South Dakota are considering whether to ban doctors from performing gender-affirming operations and treatment on minors. A bill introduced Tuesday in the Republican-dominated Legislature would make it a felony for medical providers to perform operations or administer hormone therapy to help minors affirm their gender. The proposed law would not apply to children born with ambiguous or conflicting genitalia.
Rep. Fred Deutsch, a Florence Republican, introduced the bill in the House on the first day of the legislative session with more than 40 co-sponsors. He called the proposed law a “pause button” for minors who want to get a gender-affirming operation.
“The changes are overwhelming and life-changing. Children need to wait until they’re mature to do it,” Deutsch said. The lawmaker called gender-affirming operations and hormone therapy “dangerous” because of the psychological and physical toll it takes on minors. He said the bill would not interfere with children’s ability to “socially transition,” in which a person may take on the dress, name or behavior of their gender.
Considering the fact that we don’t permit minors to smoke, drink, vote, or drive, it seems eminently reasonable that minors have to wait for treatments and surgeries that could result in permanent physical changes (including fertility)—changes they could deeply result in the years ahead. Progressives, predictably, are opposed to any cautionary measures:
The American Civil Liberties Union said the bill targets transgender youth who are already vulnerable. “(Transgender) kids and families should be given the opportunity to thrive in South Dakota,” Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South, said in a statement. “This legislation only stands to harm them and make their lives harder.”
Democratic legislative leaders said they would oppose the bill. Rep. Kelly Sullivan, a Sioux Falls Democrat, said the measure would interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, and that doctors, patients and families should make decisions for treatment. Sullivan said she is not aware of medical centers that provide gender-affirming treatments for minors in the state and called the bill a waste of time by Republicans.
You’ll note, here, that Democrats have a habit of claiming that they oppose legislation because the practice banned or restricted by the legislation doesn’t happen to begin with—although this should mean they have no problem with the legislation. They did this with Senator Ben Sasse’s proposed legislation to mandate care for survivors of abortion, as well—the Democrats refused to vote for it while simultaneously claiming that such things didn’t take place, anyways. Of course, their allies in the transgender community oppose the legislation precisely because these things do happen:
Deutsch said he has found several instances of doctors administering gender-affirming treatment in Sioux Falls. Conservative lawmakers in several states including Texas, Georgia and Kentucky have introduced similar bills. Deutsch said he decided to introduce the bill after reading about the issue online. He also consulted with a group called Kelsey Coalition that opposes gender-affirming operations for minors.
The Endocrine Society, which is the leading professional organization for doctors who specialize in hormones, does not recommend gender-affirming medical treatment before puberty for children who do not identify with their assigned gender. For youths experiencing puberty and older adolescents, the Endocrine Society recommends that a team composed of expert medical professionals and mental health professionals manages treatment.
I’m very interested to see how these laws progress. If several of them pass and hold up in court, it will chart a path forward for those who wish to protect children from trans activists and their dangerous ideology—and at least create a waiting period that will surely save many children from tragedy and heartbreak. If the courts decide to back the transgender movement, on the other hand—that would be a disaster.