Finally, it seems states in the US are waking up to the horror of medicating children with gender dysphoria, writes Jo Bartosch. Last week Arkansas became the first state to pass a bill protecting children from puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and surgery. Sixteen other states are reportedly considering similar action.
Republican State Governor Asa Hutchinson attempted to veto the bill, but this was decisively and immediately overturned by the state legislature.
Estimates vary as to the numbers of paediatric gender clinics, but the Gender Mapper Project has collected reports from approximately 300 centres across North America. The age at which children can be prescribed hormones or referred for surgery varies by state. Some surgeons and clinics advertise their services on TikTok and Instagram; social media platforms which are particularly popular with children.
Alex Conant, a Republican strategist, told the Associated Press: “I think a lot of these state legislatures are responding to the demands of the conservative base, which sees the culture wars headed in the wrong direction.”
Predictably the response to the legislation has fractured down the tribal lines of liberal and conservative. Although himself a Republican, Governor Hutchinson called the bill a “product of the culture war in America.”
“Young people who don’t fit in are now being encouraged to diagnose themselves with gender identities, and then they show up to schools and doctor’s offices where their self-diagnosis is affirmed from every direction.”
WoLF is a US-based feminist organisation which works across the political spectrum to protect sex-based rights. WoLF Executive Director Natasha Chart, says:
“There’s a reason why Medicaid won’t cover elective sterilization for anyone under the age of 21. We have a substantial national history of medical abuse, including the forced sterilization of LGB persons, the developmentally disabled, social misfits, and the mentally ill, as well as the very high likelihood of patient regret. But now if a child claims a gender identity, all that painfully accumulated caution goes out the window.”
“Young people who don’t fit in are now being encouraged to diagnose themselves with gender identities, and then they show up to schools and doctor’s offices where their self-diagnosis is affirmed from every direction. Many times, they then prescribe themselves cosmetic sterilization, menopause at 14, and this too is increasingly rubber stamped with affirmation. They don’t get the benefit of a first medical diagnosis, let alone a second opinion, before being allowed to destroy their sexual function and important endocrine organs.”
“We at WoLF are very glad that Rep. Robin Lundstrum and her colleagues in the Arkansas legislature realised what was going on, and called a halt to the cosmetic sterilization of minors in their state, through this measured set of civil guidelines. We hope to see many others follow their good example.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is reported to be preparing to challenge the bill, stating that the legislation “will drive families, doctors and businesses out of the state and send a terrible and heart-breaking message to the transgender young people who are watching in fear”.
Underscoring the predictable battle between liberals and conservatives in the US are parents from across the political spectrum. Many had been unaware of the culture wars or trend for identifying as transgender until it hit their children. Today across America, from radical feminists to conservative Christians, grassroots groups are breathing a sigh of relief that sense seems to be prevailing in the battle to protect America’s youth.