As the Biden administration continues to expand their requirements for the inclusion of "gender affirming" care, making use of every federal agency, from Health and Human Services to the Department of Agriculture, to do so, members of the GOP are pushing back.
In the bill to try to protect minor children from the medicalized gender transition of their healthy bodies, Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Doug LaMalfa of California have intend to ensure that minors who undergo that transition are able to sue for malpractice, should the need arise. A version of the Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act is being taken up in the Senate by Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
Increasing the time period during which a malpractice suite may be brought could lead doctors to reconsider rushing into "affirmation" prior to the age of consent.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the bill states that no medical provider will be obligated to perform medical gender transition on minors. The proposed bill "clarifies that federal law cannot be construed to force medical practitioners to offer such procedures," and further "prohibits federal health funds from going to states that force medical practitioners to perform gender-transition procedures."
"The Biden administration released official guidance recommending irreversible and life-altering surgery for minors too young to apply for a learner’s permit," RSC Chairman Banks said. "These procedure lack any solid evidence and have been rejected by public health agencies around the world. Ten years from now, there will be hundreds of thousands of Americans who were permanently scarred by the radical left’s agenda before they reached adulthood."
Speaking on Transgender Awareness Day earlier this year, Biden told American parents to "affirm your kids," going on to say how brave it was for them to assist their children of one sex to seek to alter their bodies to have the appearance of the opposite sex.
"We know it's hard when there are those out there who don't see you don't respect you," Biden said. "For example, the onslaught of anti transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong." He was taking aim at the many states that have enacted laws to protect girls' and women's sports from incursion by biological males who seek to compete against women, as well as laws that prevent experimental medical transition procedures for minors.
"We're committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom," Biden said, "on the playing field at work in our military, and our housing and health care systems everywhere, simply everywhere." To that end, Biden signed yet another executive order on gender, which bans conversion therapy. In practice, this means that if a child presents as trans, no one can tell that child that perhaps they should be at ease in their own body, without medical intervention that will disrupt and alter their health.
"Many among us who once identified as transgender have sought restoration after surgeries and hormone therapies," said Elizabeth Woning and Ken Williams, co-founders of CHANGED Movement. "And unfortunately, some are permanently disfigured and lack the financial means to recover."
"If Democrats truly supported gender-confused children, they’d support our effort to give them legal recourse," Banks said.
The legislation is intended to protect the rights of those who underwent medical gender transition as minors to seek redress and justice in court. The bill states that "A medical practitioner... who performs a gender-transition procedure on an individual who is less than 18 years of age, shall... be liable to the individual if injured (including any physical, psychological, emotional, or physiological harms) by such procedure, related treatment, or the aftereffects of the procedure or treatment."
The lawmakers cite concerns over sterility that can and does result from the medical gender transition of minors, a consequence of treatment that it would be extremely hard for a minor to give informed consent to, since the decision to undergo transition is often made prior to the age of reproductive maturity. Indeed, so-called puberty blockers are given prior to the age of reproductive maturity intentionally, and once they are given, the odds that a child will then go on cross-sex hormones increases. There are many medical risks to giving a child of one sex the hormones naturally made and intended for the maturation of the opposite sex, including loss of bone density, which leads to fragile bones that are more easily broken.
"Radical gender changing ideologies ignore scientific evidence and put children in harm's way," said LaMalfa. "Every time a doctor performs a gender-transitioning procedure on a minor, they endanger a vulnerable child, potentially sterilize them for life, and break their oath to 'do no harm.' I'm pleased to join in spearheading this legislation which will ensure a private right of action for minors who are subject to these experimental procedures and ensure that the federal government cannot force a medical practitioner to perform these procedures."
The statue of limitations to make a claim under the proposed bill is up to 30 years, meaning that children who transition as minors will be able to feel the effects of becoming an adult after medical gender transition, and not be cut off from seeking justice if they find that they have been physically, psychologically, emotionally, or physiologically harmed as a result.
"Gender-transition procedures aren’t safe or appropriate for children," Cotton said, speaking to his reasons for backing the bill. "Unfortunately, radical doctors in the United States perform dangerous, experimental, and even sterilizing gender-transition procedures on young kids, who cannot even provide informed consent. Our bill allows children who grow up to regret these procedures to sue for damages. Any doctor who performs these irresponsible procedures on kids should pay."
The legislation is supported by the American Principles Project, Heritage Action, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council, Independent Women’s Forum, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Alliance Defending Freedom, ForAmerica, Eagle Forum, CHANGED Movement.