Republican lawmakers introduce bills to ban sex change surgeries for kids, taxpayer funding for mutilation

Lulu, a transgender girl, reads a book in her room at her home in Buenos Aires July 25, 2013.
Lulu, a transgender girl, reads a book in her room at her home in Buenos Aires July 25, 2013. | Reuters/Stringer

Congressional Republicans have introduced two pieces of legislation that would ban gender reassignment surgery for minors in addition to preventing taxpayers from having to pay for elective gender reassignment surgeries.

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., announced the introduction of "The Protecting Children from Experimentation Act" and the "End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act" in a press release published Tuesday. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., introduced companion legislation in the House.

The Protecting Children from Experimentation Act would “prohibit doctors from performing experimental gender reassignment treatments on children,” citing the fact that “puberty-blocking hormones can cause irreversible damage to children’s bodies, including an increased risk of cancer and permanent sterilization.”

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The End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act would “protect taxpayers’ conscience by prohibiting federal funding for gender reassignment surgeries and treatments.”

Both bills are supported by socially conservative organizations, including the Family Research Council, Heritage Action, the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, the American College of Pediatricians, and the American Principles Project.

The introduction of the legislation comes weeks after the House passed the Equality Act, a wide-reaching bill that critics argue could force employers “to include in their health plans things that they might object to like cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers for children and sex reassignment surgery.”

The push to ban gender reassignment surgery for children comes in the context of President Joe Biden’s selection of the trans-identified Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. During a Senate confirmation hearing, Levine refused to answer when asked by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., if “minors are capable of making such a life-changing decision as changing one’s sex.”

Al Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, listed Levine’s nomination for a cabinet post as an example of the effort to advance the “normalization” of transgender ideology.

Marshall argued that Biden’s selection of Levine, who he said has “a track record of politicizing public health issues, advocating for conversion therapy for pre-pubertal children, and has demonstrated a lack of support for parental consent” was “immoral and unethical.”

“Protecting our children from experimental gender reassignment treatments and permanent hormone blockers couldn’t be more important. These medical experiments are not FDA-approved and have irreversible consequences for the health of our kids,” said Marshall. “The legislation I introduced ... will ensure this practice is put to a stop and prevent taxpayers from ever having to foot the bill for these horrific procedures.”

In some cases, taxpayers already have to “foot the bill” for gender reassignment surgeries.

Late last year, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that a man serving time in prison for raping his 10-year-old daughter was entitled to gender reassignment surgery at taxpayers’ expense because he now identifies as a woman.

“Radical ideologues are attempting to normalize medical experimentation with a child’s biological sex under the guise of ‘acceptance,’” LaMalfa warned. “Vulnerable children are being pushed to undergo experimental treatments, like being injected with puberty-blocking hormones and cross-sex hormones or even surgeries, which have irreversible consequences, such as permanent sterility.”

“Both the Protecting Children from Experimentation Act and the End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act would protect children and taxpayers from paying the high price of these unethical and experimental medical interventions. Children must be provided with the time and space to develop maturity rather than being pushed to make life-altering decisions that they may likely later regret,” he added.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, said these bills " ... are the two most critical pro-child pieces of legislation introduced to date.” 

“No one is born with an opposite-sexed brain, and gender identity can align with biological sex across childhood and adulthood both with and without counseling to treat underlying traumas," she added. "The sterilization of emotionally vulnerable youth in any other circumstance would be seen for exactly what it is: eugenics.”

LaMalfa introduced versions of both pieces of legislation in the House during the 116th Congress, but a vote never took place due to opposition from House Democrats who held the majority. The bills face another uphill battle in the 117th Congress, where Democrats control not only the House but also the Senate and White House as well.

The Protecting Children from Experimentation Act has secured 13 co-sponsors in the House and three co-sponsors in the Senate. The End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act has secured 14 co-sponsors in the House and four co-sponsors in the Senate.

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