While economic issues have remained the focal point of Republican messaging for the 2022 midterm elections, many GOP candidates have vowed to safeguard children from radical gender theory and irreversible medical transition procedures.
Despite the emerging data that Americans are reluctant to cosign onto medically transitioning minors, President Biden doubled down on allowing minors full access to medical interventions last month. Biden took aim at Republican-led efforts to limit access to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender transition surgeries for minors, calling them “immoral.”
Blake Masters, a GOP Senate candidate hoping to replace Democrat Mark Kelly in Arizona, took to Twitter in August to voice his opposition.
“The Biden Administration pushing ‘gender-affirming care’ for children — including genital surgery and puberty blockers — is truly dystopian,” Masters opined. “And Senator Mark Kelly going along with it? Refusing to speak up and protect our kids? Pathetic,” said Masters, taking a dig at his opponent.
Kelly is a co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would explicitly add sexual orientation and “gender identity” to federal nondiscrimination laws. While on the outset, this may sound like an advancement of civil rights, the inclusion of the pseudoscientific concept of “gender identity” raises serious human-rights concerns for vulnerable groups including women, homosexuals, and children. Masters shared a commercial on social media imploring voters to reject Kelly over his stance on medically transitioning children.
Debate has heated up over the past year regarding transgender issues, such as men in women’s sports, inappropriate material about sex and gender being introduced to kids in schools, and especially the controversial medical protocol known as “gender-affirming” care, which discourages medical professionals from questioning a minor’s self-reported transgender identity or exploring possible underlying factors that may be causing their dysphoria.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has emerged as an advocate for children with a new bill called the Protect Children’s Innocence Act. The bill aims to shield minors from accessing the permanent, body- and life-altering medical treatments they may later come to regret.
Greene invited 18-year-old detransitioner Chloe Cole to speak in front of the U.S. Capitol in support of the bill in September. Cole gave a powerful testimony about the “gender affirming” model of care that led to her irreversible medical transition as an adolescent.
“How did we get to the point where nearly every pediatric institution in the country considers it best practice to remove the healthy breast tissue of children while administering drugs typically used to chemically castrate high-risk sex offenders?” Cole said of the widespread acceptance of radical gender theory in medicine driving “gender affirming care,” which effectively puts children in the driver’s seat to dictate the terms of their own sex change.
The standard protocol for gender affirmation is administering puberty blockers, followed by cross-sex hormones, and then surgery, if desired. Proponents generally argue that parental approval should not be a requirement and reject medical “gatekeeping.”
In the Florida governor’s race, Governor Ron DeSantis is up against Democratic challenger and former governor Charlie Crist. In the Florida U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio is being challenged by Democrat Val Demings.
Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both approved a rule on Friday to prohibit minors in the state from receiving gender transition surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones, the first ban in the country instituted by a state medical board.
Earlier this year, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration finalized a rule that barred Medicaid recipients from covering the same elective gender-related treatments.
DeSantis also signed a bill earlier this year called the Parental Rights in Education Act, erroneously dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, that bans public school teachers from providing instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
In April, Alabama GOP Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation that would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to people under 19. A federal judge blocked portions of the bill from taking effect in May.
In May, Rubio penned an article in The Federalist criticizing Democrats for their adoption of pediatric “gender-affirming” care, despite a lack of medical evidence to support its use. “We need to have a higher standard when administering life-altering drugs to children,” wrote Rubio.
Rubio also introduced a bill in May called “No Tax Breaks for Radical Corporate Activism Act,” which would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to “gender-affirming” care for children of their employees.
Tudor Dixon, the Republican running for governor in Michigan, recently unveiled a legislative proposal that would prohibit biological males from playing on girls’ school sports teams. The Republican Governors Association also released several ads critical of Kansas’ Democrat governor for vetoing bills to ban biological male athletes from girls’ and women’s sports.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) released an ad criticizing her Democratic opponent, Annie Andrews, for supporting gender pseudoscience.
Other states that have passed or introduced measures to prohibit gender transition treatments for minors include Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona.