Friday, February 03, 2023

Legislation to protect children from harmful medical procedures clears first hurdle in General Assembly

 Republicans in the General Assembly this week advanced legislation to prohibit minors from undergoing irreversible and harmful medical procedures aimed at changing their gender identity. House Bill 1 / Senate Bill 1 sponsored by Tennessee Majority Leaders, Sen. Jack Johnson, R- Franklin, and State Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and the House Health Subcommittee this week.

The legislation would provide the nation’s strongest protections against the removal of a child’s healthy body parts. If passed, it would ban medical interference that alters a child’s hormonal balance and procedures that remove body parts to enable the minor to identify as a gender different from their biological sex.

“Gender dysphoria is a mental health condition that should be treated with love and understanding, therapy, and other appropriate interventions – just as we treat other mental health disorders,” Lamberth said. “Under no circumstance should we ever allow a child to undergo a procedure that destroys their normal, healthy development. I appreciate the wisdom of the committee members who recognize that this legislation protects minors from the negative consequences of adult decisions they aren’t ready for.”

If passed, a health care provider who violates the law can be sued in civil court by the minor injured, the parent of the minor injured or the Attorney General within 10 years of the violation. Providers found to be in violation could face up to a $25,000 penalty per violation and have their medical license restricted.

The legislation ensures that doctors can still prescribe hormone treatment to minors for medically necessary purposes and makes exceptions for children born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects. House Bill 1 is scheduled to be heard in the House Health Committee on Wednesday, Feb 8.

Rod's Comment: I wholeheartedly support this bill.

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