A series of new bills were recently filed which will significantly affect the way transgender youth are living. These new bills ban doctors and other health professionals from providing hormones that help transgender youth maintain their desired gender. The bills also prevent surgeons from performing sex reassignment surgery except for children who are born physiologically transgender.
For children who are physiologically transgender at birth, their parents are still given the option of selecting a gender for them and having them operated on accordingly. This has raised ethical questions from the general public, and of course, much disapproval from the transgender community. Many parents of transgender youth are also claiming that they believe losing access to such hormones will be a life or death situation for their child due to their dependency on the transitioning process to remain mentally content. Parents are coming out saying they fear their child will have to go under suicide-watch if they are no longer allowed to change their bodies through hormones and surgery.
What legal penalties can a medical practitioner face for carrying out hormone therapy or performing sex reassignment surgery?
The legal penalties that doctors can face for not abiding by these new bills differ from state to state. South Dakota, for instance, intends to imprison medical providers for up to 10 years for providing hormones to a minor. Missouri, on the other hand, would report the parents of the child to child welfare officials, and the parental granting of permission to go through with physical gender transitioning to a minor will be considered as serious child abuse. The doctor would also have their license suspended.
Other states such as Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, and South Carolina are coming through with similar penalties as well.
These penalties may seem extreme to some but governing officials and religious leaders, on the other hand, are very optimistic about these new bills as the rulings are only for children under the age of 18. Young children can easily make the mistake of believing they need to transition as a coping method for the other stresses they are experiencing in life and they could end up regretting this decision when they are older. Many cases have come out where children thought they were ready to transition only to realize they wanted to remain in the body they were born with.
Not only will regulating the ability of children to use medical procedures to permanently transition into the identity of their choice reduce the chances of children making a decision too early, but it will also help prevent children from being coerced to transition by their friends or even their parents. Children are very impressionable, and a little bit of social pressure can make them act without thinking things through properly. Since these medical procedures are permanently altering the body, the hope these bills bring is that children will be given more time to think before going through with the transitioning