Ban on gender reassignment for minors makes progress in Tennessee

A proposed ban on puberty blockers and other treatments for minors who suffer from gender confusion is making its way through a state legislative committee in Tennessee.

The bill would impose stiff penalties on doctors, including fines and the loss of license, expose parents and doctors to liability and provide damages to kids adversely affected by sex change medical abuse, the Tennessean reports.

The legislation is progressing as a gender surgery mill at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is under scrutiny for reports that children as young as 13 were given irreversible hormones to block puberty, while university doctors touted the high profits associated with cross-sex surgery.

Vanderbilt doctors publicly bragged the surgeries, which remove genitalia in teens, are “huge moneymakers,” with revenues from $40,000 to $100,000 per patient, according to the National Catholic Register. 

Matt Walsh, a podcaster who first reported on the medical ethics scandal and testified before the state’s House Health Committee, called the surgeries “ghoulish.” 

When questioned by a top Tennessee Democrat about his medical qualifications, Walsh replied the wrongdoing was so self-evident that he’s qualified simply by being “human.” 

When challenged by Rep. Caleb Hemmer, D-District 59 on whether 16-year-olds are adults, Walsh redirected the question back on Hemmer. 

“Do you think that a 16-year-old can meaningfully consent to having their body parts removed?” Walsh asked.

The lawmaker refused to answer.

Gender surgery clinics are popping up around the country under the guise of helping gender confused youth who suffer from depression, a claim that has little scientific basis, Reuters reports.

When committee members claimed surgeries lower suicide rates, Walsh told them, “There are no credible long-term studies that bear that out.

“And one of the reasons for that is that there couldn’t possibly be any credible long-term studies because we’ve never done this to kids on this scale ever before in history. So this current, shall we say, crop of children, they are the guinea pigs. This is all experimental,” Walsh added.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called for an investigation into the gender surgery center at Vanderbilt.

“We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain,” Lee said in a statement, reported by the Associated Press. “We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”

In a letter to Rep. Jason Zachary, R-District 14, Vanderbilt said it was “pausing” gender surgeries on minors as they seek advice from “local and national clinic experts.”

If the bill passes out of the committee, which is widely expected, both houses could vote on it as early as this week.