Legislators in Tennessee are moving forward with plans to ban the practice of children undergoing life-altering gender-reassignment treatments and sex-change surgeries.
Lawmakers have advanced the move by bringing forward a key vote on legislation to ban the procedures.
The bill, SB 0001, would ban pediatric medical transition in Tennessee.
After passing a Senate committee with an 8-1 vote on Wednesday, the legislation is rapidly advancing.
It is now headed to Tennessee’s Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
“From the very beginning, the doctors were negligent,” said Chloe Cole from California.
18-year-old Cole is a “detransitioner” – a person who has tried to reverse the process after undergoing sex-change treatments due to a mistaken belief that they were “transgender.”
Cole is permanently scarred from having a double mastectomy surgery to remove her breasts at 15.
“They treated me as if I were an adult who was capable of making informed lifelong decisions that would affect every area of my life — from socialization and relationships to sexual function and my ability to have children.”
The committee, held in Cordell Hull in Nashville, was met with a packed audience, according to local news station NewsChannel 5.
The bill will still need to clear additional committees and the House and Senate chambers before it is reviewed by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
Tennessee Majority Leaders William Lamberth and Jack Johnson, both Republicans, introduced the Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act last November.
The bill would effectively make it illegal for doctors to prescribe chemical castration drugs (puberty blockers), and cross-sex hormones, or to perform gender-related surgeries on minors for the purpose of medical transition.
The law would also allow patients and their families to sue for damages and let the courts impose an additional $25,000 penalty for each violation.
“The bill would clarify that performing these medical procedures can constitute abuse,” Johnson said.
“The bill would treat these procedures as our law treats other attempts to wound, injure or disable a child.”
“Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong,” Lamberth said.
“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,” Lamberth added.
The Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act would also create a private right of action.
The measure would allow a minor or the parent of a minor who sustained injuries due to medical transition to sue for damages.
Additionally, it would enable a child to bring a civil cause of action against a parent if that parent helped to facilitate their child’s medical transition.
The bill would allow courts to impose a $25,000 penalty per violation and the state attorney general to bring an action against a healthcare provider for knowingly violating the law within 20 years of the offense.
The proposed bill would require the state attorney general to establish a process for reporting violations of the law.
The bill makes an exception for providing hormones and/or surgeries for children born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects that result in developmental sex conditions.
The reporting on pediatric gender clinics and so-called “gender-affirming” care has raised nationwide awareness and serious ethical concerns about the medications offered and procedures performed on minors.
As Slay News has been reporting, some states have been cracking down on the practice.
Meanwhile, other states have been ramping up efforts to protect the procedures.
California, for example, recently declared itself a “sanctuary state” for child sex-change treatments.
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