Far right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) is planning to introduce legislation on Friday that would ban doctors and other medical professionals from providing certain gender-affirming care options to transgender children.
Gender-affirming care can take many forms, including therapy and medication. Greene’s bill would restrict how doctors can treat trans children by making it a felony at the federal level to prescribe medication that blocks the effects of puberty in children. The bill would also make it illegal to give trans children surgeries that would permanently change their sex organs — despite the fact that such surgeries are typically only available to people ages 18 or older in the U.S.
Puberty blockers are safe, reversible medications that postpone the permanent physical changes brought on by puberty. Their use has been shown to significantly reduce suicide risk in transgender children, who can suffer from severe emotional distress as a result of developing secondary sex characteristics, like breasts or facial hair, that don’t match their gender. Doctors also prescribe puberty blockers to children experiencing precocious puberty, a condition in which a person undergoes puberty too soon.
Although the effects of puberty blockers are completely reversible, Greene wrongly suggested in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News that children are permanently impacted by the medication.
“Kids are too young to make these awful decisions that will affect them and will be permanent for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Her statement ignores the fact that such decisions are made by children alongside their parents or guardians, under the guidance of doctors and other trained professionals. Notably, it is extremely rare for people to “detransition” or experience regret after transitioning.
During the interview, Carlson wrongly likened puberty blockers to “chemical castration.”
Carlson isn’t alone in making such blatantly false and alarmist statements — recently, a number of far right commentators on social media have targeted Boston Children’s Hospital, wrongly asserting that the hospital has been performing sex reassignment surgeries on children.
The hospital said in a statement this week that it has received a large influx of violent threats as a result of the transphobic fear mongering.
“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms, and we reject the false narrative upon which they are based,” Boston Children’s Hospital said in a statement.
Greene’s bill has very little chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled House, but it may be an indication of the dangerous proposals Congress will embrace if the GOP wins the midterm elections this fall.
Numerous medical organizations have recognized gender-affirming care as life-saving. Chase Strangio, a trans activist and lawyer, shared his experiences with gender-affirming care in an op-ed for Truthout last year.
“My personal experience of this care being life-saving is echoed in decades of data,” Strangio wrote. “When trans people are able to access the gender-affirming health care that we need, our mental health improves dramatically.”