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States in the US Divided Over Bans on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

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Gender-affirming care is one of the hottest topics in the world right now. Several states in the US are now enforcing (or trying to enforce) bans on the practice, while a new report by Dr. Hilary Cass in the United Kingdom is using science to warn of what’s to come if gender-affirming care continues. 

What Is Gender-Affirming Care? 

Sometimes referred to as transition-related care, gender-affirming care is an umbrella term that refers to a range of healthcare services for transgender people of all ages – including mental health care, medical care, and social services. 

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While gender-affirming care is highly useful and beneficial to millions of transgender individuals across the globe, many health experts and lawmakers are calling for an end to gender-affirming care for youth transgenders – especially the use of puberty blockers and surgery. 

The Cass Report Urges ‘Great Caution’

Earlier this month, Dr. Hilary Cass – a British honorary physician in pediatric disability at the Evelina Hospital – released a 388-page independent review (commissioned by NHS England) of gender identity services for children and young people. 

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Her report concluded that no one under the age of 18 takes hormone drugs, and anyone under the age of 25 proceeds with ‘great caution’ when considering such drugs – going against what many transgenders and LGBTQ+ members are advocating for. 

Built On Shaky Foundations

Dr. Hilary Cass argued that we don’t have enough ‘good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress’ – adding that ‘gender medicine for children and young people is built on shaky foundations.’ 

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“There are few other areas of health care where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views, where people are vilified on social media, and where name-calling echoes the worst bullying behavior,” she wrote in her report. “This must stop.” 

Blasts World Professional Association for Transgender Healthcare

Dr. Cass also criticized the World Professional Association for Transgender Healthcare – an organization that sets guidelines for transitioning children. They say their recommendations are based on ‘the best available science and expert professional consensus.’ 

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But Cass didn’t think so. In fact, she accused the guidelines and organization as a whole as being ‘highly influential in directing international practice’ despite lacking ‘developmental rigor and transparency.’

Also Takes Aim At Health Practitioners

According to Cass, health practitioners are partly to blame for the rise in gender-affirming care for children – arguing that ‘some practitioners abandoned normal clinical approaches’ when treating children with puberty blockers without screening them first. 

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But it’s not just the potentiality for cross-sex hormones that has some experts worried – some practitioners were quite literally putting kids through surgery to promote the amputation of penises and breasts to better align with the individual’s chosen identity. 

New York Post Urges America To Wake Up

The New York Post has been outspoken in their disdain for gender-affirming care for children and teenagers. One recent op-ed, published by the Post Editorial Board, called for America to wake up – especially liberal America. 

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“You’ve been sold a disgraceful bill of goods. Stop obsessing about winning the culture war, let science prevail and do what’s right for the kids,” they wrote. “How many more American kids will be victimized before our elites admit they made a terrible mistake?”

Victoria Atkins Says Nothing Is Off The Table

Victoria Atkins, who currently serves as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, recently responded to Dr. Cass’s independent review and she accused the NHS for being ‘overtaken by a culture of secrecy and ideology that was allowed to trump evidence and safety.’ 

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“I will work with NHS England to root out the ideology that has caused so much unnecessary harm. I am looking closely at what can be done to curtail any loopholes and prescribing practices, including legislative options,” she said – adding that ‘nothing is off the table.’

Dutch Study Calls Transgenderism A Fad

In an article earlier this month, the New York Post praised researchers at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen, who recently released a landmark 15-year study that included 2,700 children starting at the age of 11. 

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“Gender non-contentedness, while being relatively common during early adolescence, in general decreases with age and appears to be associated with a poorer self-concept and mental health throughout development,” the study concluded. 

Equal Rights Amendment In New York

Proposition One is a measure on New York’s ballot in November that aims to strengthen the Equal Rights Amendment by codifying abortion rights in the state Constitution – among other things. For example, it would allow transgender females to compete in women’s sports. 

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Not only that, but people are outraged over what it could mean for children interested in surgery to further affirm their identity. If passed, the proposition would allow children to seek such treatment without the approval of a parent or guardian. 

Idaho Bans Gender-Affirming Care For Youth

On April 15, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) permitted the state of Idaho to enforce a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender children and minors. The ban was initially blocked by a lower court, but the SCOTUS got involved in February. 

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A major selling point by the state was that gender-affirming care ‘exposes vulnerable children to risky and dangerous medical procedures and infringes Idaho’s sovereign power to enforce its democratically enacted law.’ 

Ohio Judge Blocks Similar Ban In The Buckeye State

While the ban was allowed in Idaho, other states haven’t been as lucky. On April 16, an Ohio judge temporarily blocked a ban on gender-affirming care for minors – which would prevent teenagers from undergoing treatment or surgery until they turn 18.

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“We protect children with various restrictions that do not apply to adults—from signing legal contracts to buying alcohol and tobacco and more,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “As I promised during the veto override, my office will defend this constitutional statute.”

Kansas Governor Vetoes Ban On GAC

On April 15, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care for minors – allowing minors to seek treatment and/or surgery, if they want to. She argued that ‘voters do not want politicians getting between doctors and their patient by interfering in private medical decisions.’ 

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Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins wasn’t too pleased with the Governor’s decision. “Laura Kelly will most surely find herself on the wrong side of history with her reckless veto of this common-sense protection for Kansas minors,” he said. 

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Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

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