Tennessee lawmakers are one step closer to banning the practice of child sex change procedures in the state.
The bill, SB 0001, which would ban pediatric medical transition in Tennessee, is quickly moving forward after having passed a Senate committee with an 8-1 vote on Wednesday. It is now headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
“From the very beginning, the doctors were negligent,” said Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old detransitioner from California, who is permanently scarred from having a double mastectomy surgery to remove her breasts at 15. “They treated me as if I were an adult who was capable of making informed lifelong decisions that would affect every area of my life — from socialization and relationships to sexual function and my ability to have children.”
According to local news station NewsChannel 5, the committee, held in Cordell Hull in Nashville, was met with a packed audience. The bill will still need to clear additional committees and the House and Senate chambers before it is reviewed by Governor Bill Lee.
Tennessee Majority Leaders William Lamberth and Jack Johnson, both Republicans, introduced the Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act last November, which would effectively bar doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and performing gender-related surgeries on minors for the purpose of medical transition.
“The bill would clarify that performing these medical procedures can constitute abuse,” Johnson said. “The bill would treat these procedures as our law treats other attempts to wound, injure or disable a child.”
The Republican leaders committed to writing the bill in September after Daily Wire host Matt Walsh released a viral video of a doctor at a Nashville university hospital referring to gender-transition procedures as “huge money makers.”
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) “paused” all gender transition surgeries on children in October after Tennessee State representatives sent a letter to VUMC officials, urging them to “halt all permanent gender transitioning surgeries on minor children.” VUMC said they have performed “gender-affirming” double mastectomy surgeries to remove the breasts of approximately five minors every year since 2018.
The reporting on pediatric gender clinics and “gender-affirming” care, which effectively puts children in the driver’s seat to dictate the terms of their own sex change, has raised nationwide awareness and serious ethical concerns about the medications offered and procedures performed on minors.
“Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong,” Lamberth said. “Tennesseans across our state have demanded an immediate call to action.”
“Through the passage of House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, Tennessee will protect vulnerable children who cannot give informed consent for adult decisions they aren’t ready for,” Lamberth added.
The bill makes an exception for providing hormones and/or surgeries for children born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects that result in developmental sex conditions.