Missouri lawmakers should go ahead and ban transgender treatments for children, in U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s considered opinion.
Hawley’s office last month launched an investigation of the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, following a whistleblower’s allegations the institution was “permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care.”
In an interview Wednesday with The Lion, Hawley noted in particular allegations that parents “weren’t informed about the consequences of them, that children were pushed onto these drugs that sterilized them without being given an appropriate course of treatment, without being told what the risks were.
“That is important, crazy stuff. It’s important that it be stopped. And I would hope that the Missouri legislators would put a stop to it, and would say that we’re going to give real protections for parents and real protections for kids in the state of Missouri. Numerous other states have done that.”
Missouri Senate Bill 49 would ban gender transition treatments on those younger than 18 – including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and transition surgeries. The bill was held up by a Democrat filibuster just before this week’s spring break.
Hawley deferred to state lawmakers, but made no bones about where he stands on the matter.
“I certainly will leave that to our legislators,” Hawley said. “But I’m glad they’re considering legislation. I hope they will put in place some good, strong protections for parents and kids in our state – and they’ll protect them from people who are trying to make money, lots of money, by forcing kids into these gender reassignment surgeries that have life-altering effects.”
The national public interest group Do No Harm, which strives to keep medicine free from race and gender politics, agrees that transgender treatments for kids aren’t a good idea.
“Our organization’s and our personal view is that adults can sort of do what they want,” Do No Harm founder and chairman Dr. Stanley Goldfarb tells The Lion. “We’re not against people becoming transgender. We’re against children being supported in this activity before they really can undergo informed consent, or before they could really even appreciate exactly what they’re opting for.
“Physicians shouldn’t be dealing with children on hormone replacements or puberty blockers or any of these medications. I think this is something that should be reserved for adults.”