Legislation is being introduced to help people who are suffering from potentially sterilizing gender-transition procedures as minors to allow them to seek justice in court.
Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Congressman Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., have introduced the "Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act," and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is leading the Senate version of the bill.
The legislation would allow people who had gender-transition procedures performed on them as minors to sue the medical practitioner who performed the procedure. It provides a 30-year statute of limitations after the age of majority.
The legislation prohibits federal health funds from going to states that force medical practitioners to perform gender-transition procedures.
Gender-transition procedures include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures that change an individual's body to align with an identity at odds with an individual's biological sex.
"Radical gender-changing ideologies ignore scientific evidence and put children in harm's way," LaMalfa said. "Every time a doctor performs a gender-transitioning procedure on a minor, they endanger a vulnerable child, potentially sterilize them for life, and break their oath to 'do no harm.'
"I'm pleased to join in spearheading this legislation which will ensure a private right of action for minors who are subject to these experimental procedures and ensure that the federal government cannot force a medical practitioner to perform these procedures."
"Gender-transition procedures aren't safe or appropriate for children," Cotton added. "Unfortunately, radical doctors in the United States perform dangerous, experimental, and even sterilizing gender-transition procedures on young kids, who cannot even provide informed consent.
"Our bill allows children who grow up to regret these procedures to sue for damages. Any doctor who performs these irresponsible procedures on kids should pay."
Democrats are twice as likely to support allowing transgender teens access to puberty-blockers than to oppose it, and a majority are in favor of allowing schools to provide instruction on gender identity, including access to books that tell stories about transgender youth, according to YouGov.com. Republicans are far more likely to oppose these actions.
Over the past two years, Republican-controlled state legislatures have begun to propose more aggressive restrictions on "gender-affirming" treatments for transgender youth.
Banks said the Biden administration released official guidance in April recommending irreversible and life-altering surgery for minors too young to apply for a learner's permit. "Ten years from now, there will be hundreds of thousands of Americans who were permanently scarred by the radical left's agenda before they reached adulthood. If Democrats truly supported gender-confused children, they'd support our effort to give them legal recourse."
The legislation is supported by the American Principles Project, Heritage Action, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council, Independent Women's Forum, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Alliance Defending Freedom, ForAmerica, Eagle Forum, CHANGED Movement.
In a statement, Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project, said: "As more and more de-transitioners have come forward to express regret about the procedures they went through as minors, it's become clear that the irresponsible actors who pushed them down that road must be held accountable.
"This legislation will help provide justice to those misled and exploited by this predatory industry. We commend Sen. Cotton and Congressman Banks for their courageous leadership in introducing it."
Autumn Leva, executive vice president of Family Policy Alliance, concurred: "Every day, youth around the country are endangered by transgender interventions that can leave them sterile, missing healthy body parts, and filled with regret.
"Kids who are hurting and struggling need help, not harm, and that's why we strongly support the Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice. For far too long children who have legitimate gender conflict have been pressured into transition by politicized medicine."
Mary Beth Waddell, director of Federal Affairs, Family and Religious Liberty for the Family Research Council, added: "The harms of gender-transition procedures are clear, yet many activists not only ignore the harms but insist that these procedures are medically necessary. The stories of those who have undergone irreversible procedures only to realize they didn't fix the feelings of gender incongruence but made them feel worse, is heartbreaking.
"The heartbreak is even heavier when these stories come from children who were lead down this road by medical practitioners they trusted. This legislation gives these children a voice and a path to at least a measure of restitution for what they have endured by being subjected to experimentation by those who should protect them and 'do no harm.'"
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