Tennessee to Ban ‘Gender-Affirming’ Operations, Drugs for Minors

The legislation is known as the ‘Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act.’

QUICK FACTS:
  • Tennessee lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban medical professionals from performing “gender-affirming” medical procedures.
  • The legislation would also allow minors to sue healthcare providers who violate the law and parents who consent to the treatments.
  • The legislation follows a significant incident at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where clinicians admitted to treating adolescents in a gender-affirming manner and called them “big moneymakers.”
  • The bill was introduced by state Republican lawmakers Senate Majority leader Jack Johnson and House Majority Leader William Lamberth.
  • Senate Bill/House Bill 1 is known as the ‘Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act,’ and were introduced in the state legislature Nov. 9.
FROM THE BILL AND ITS SPONSOR:
  • Johnson explained, “This bill is about protecting children. Under no circumstances should minors be allowed to undergo irreversible elective procedures to mutilate body parts and intentionally harm their reproductive systems. This practice comes with lifelong health complications that children are not capable of understanding.”
  • The bill’s prohibitions expressly state, “A healthcare provider shall not perform or offer to perform on a minor, or administer or offer to administer to a minor, a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of: (1) Enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex; or (2) Treating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor’s sex and asserted identity.”
  • Lamberth added his thoughts on the bill, saying that “Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong. Tennesseans across our state have demanded an immediate call to action. Through the passage of House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, Tennessee will protect vulnerable children who cannot give informed consent for adult decisions they aren’t ready for.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Earlier this month, American Faith reported that Arkansas law that prohibited transgender procedures on minors was being held up in court.
  • Arkansas’s ‘Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act,’ or SAFE Act, menace law in April of 2021 and bans the procedures, but does not criminalize them.
  • Before the law could take effect, U.S. District Judge Jay Moody temporarily enjoined the law after an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • In August of this year, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Moody’s preliminary injunction.
  • Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she is committed to protecting the law because it protects children. “This is about protecting children,” Rutledge said. “Nothing about this law prohibits someone after the age of 18 from making this decision. What we’re doing in Arkansas is protecting children from life-altering, permanent decisions.”