The British government is proposing a complete ban on transgender medical procedures for children, and American lawmakers would be “wise” to follow that example, contends a leading family advocate.
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies for the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., wrote that British officials don’t want to put young people “on a torturous and unnecessary path that is permanent and life-changing.”
“When state legislators in the U.S. are able to convene again,” he wrote, “they would be wise to follow the British example and prohibit ‘torturous and unecessary’ gender transition medical procedures for minors.”
Liz Truss, the U.K.’s minister for women and equalities, recently told a parliamentary committee that the Conservative party government would propose amendments to the nation’s Gender Recognition Act.
Truss said a priority would be to make certain “the under 18s are protected from decisions that they could make, that are irreversible in the future.”
In Britain, its National Health Service runs only a few clinics providing gender reassignment services. The only one for minors is the Gender Identity Development Service of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.
A few years ago it began expanding its treatment of minors.
Last year, as many as 35 psychologists quit the Gender Identity Development Service, and some have spoken out against its practices.
One, Marcus Evans, warned that when doctors “give patients what they want (or think they want),” the ramifications can be “disastrous.”
This year, a lawsuit was filed against the clinic by a nurse, Susan Evans, and an unidentified mother of a 15-year-old girl. A 23-year-old woman, Keira Bell, who got treatment at the clinic as a teen, joined the legal action.
Bell warned, “I have become a claimant in this case because I do not believe that children and young people can consent to the use of powerful and experimental hormone drugs like I did.”
She’s described her experience as a “torturous and unnecessary path.”
The Christian Post reported Truss recently said the government’s plan would ban doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children younger than 18.
“Grown adults should be able to make decisions, to have agency to live life as they see fit,” she said. “But before the age of 18, when people are still developing their decision-making capabilities, they should be protected from making decisions that are irreversible about their bodies that they could possibly regret in the future.”
Britain’s National Health Service already was reviewing puberty-blocking drugs and the rules pertaining to when youth are allowed to begin gender-transitioning.
Some states also are taking action to protect youth. Idaho has banned boys who say they’re girls from participating in girls’ sports events, as well as “alterations” to “sex markers on legal documents such as birth certificates.
Several other states are considering similar moves.