The Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that bans sex change procedures for minors, which is now awaiting approval from Republican Governor Bill Lee, The Daily Caller reports.
The bill passed in the state’s House of Representatives last week and now prevents healthcare providers from administering cross-sex treatments to minors, including surgeries, devices, and drugs such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
Tennessee Republicans promised to ban these procedures in the fall after reports that Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) was administering hormonal drugs to children as young as 13 as part of the gender transition process, and performing mastectomies on adolescent girls to help them present as male.
“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,” said Republican Tennessee State Representative William Lamberth. “Under no circumstance should we ever allow a child to undergo a procedure that destroys their normal, healthy development.”
Videos obtained by the Daily Wire revealed a VUMC employee explaining how profitable hormone treatments and gender surgeries would be for the hospital.
In another video, an employee expressed that healthcare workers with religious or conscientious objections to performing those procedures were unwelcome at the institution, although the hospital denied this claim in a statement.
The program at VUMC that administered these procedures also boasted about linking transgender patients, including children, with “Trans Buddies” who monitored doctors’ use of preferred pronouns and advocated for the patients throughout the medical process.
In September, VUMC halted the medical procedures at the request of state legislators.
Supporters of the bill argue that children are not capable of making such life-altering decisions, and these decisions should be made by parents or guardians.
Governor Lee is expected to approve the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled body with a vote of 77-16.