The Tennessee state legislature is pushing forward with a bill to ban child sex change procedures.
SB 0001, which would prevent pediatric medical transitions in the state, passed an 8-1 vote in a Senate committee this week and is set to move to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The ‘Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act,’ introduced by Republicans William Lamberth and Jack Johnson, would prohibit doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and performing gender-related surgeries on minors.
“The passage of House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1 will protect vulnerable children who cannot give informed consent for adult decisions they are not ready for,” Lamberth stated. “Tennesseans across the state have called for immediate action.”
The bill would also allow patients and families to sue for damages and impose a $25,000 penalty for each violation. The legislation would allow minors or parents of minors to sue for damages if the minor sustained injuries from medical transition and would enable a child to sue their parent if the parent facilitated the medical transition.
The bill includes an exception for providing hormones and/or surgeries for children with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects that result in developmental sex conditions.
“The bill would clarify that performing these medical procedures can constitute abuse,” Johnson explained. “The bill would treat these procedures as our law treats other attempts to wound, injure or disable a child.”
In September, the Republican leaders committed to writing the bill after a doctor at a Nashville university hospital referred to gender transition procedures as “huge money makers” in a viral video.
In response, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) temporarily paused all gender transition surgeries on minors in October after state representatives sent a letter to VUMC officials.
VUMC had been performing “gender-affirming” double mastectomy surgeries on minors, five every year since 2018.