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House Bill Would Allow Adults Who Transitioned Genders as Minors to Sue Their Doctors

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Rep. Jim Banks gives a speech. | Image by Tom Williams/Getty Images

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Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and the Republican Study Committee, a House caucus led by Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana), announced legislation that would allow individuals and legal guardians to sue medical providers who perform gender-transition surgeries on minors.

Medical providers who prescribe transgender hormone usage to minors would also be liable to be sued.

The legislation, titled the “Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act,” would allow individuals to sue medical providers for declaratory or injunctive relief up to 30 years after turning 18, as well as compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

Its language defines biological sex as “the genetic classification of an individual as male or female, as reflected in the organization of the body of such individual for a reproductive role or capacity, such as through sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, and internal and external genitalia present at birth, without regard to the subjective sense of identity of the individual.”

The bill would also order “that federal law cannot be construed to force medical practitioners to offer such procedures” and prevent “federal health funds from going to states that force medical practitioners to perform gender-transition procedures.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, President Biden signed an executive order to expand access to the “medical procedures” outlined in the Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act.

Biden’s order directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “promote expanded access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQI+ individuals, including by working with States on expanding access to gender-affirming care.”

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, use the Department of HHS’s authorities to protect LGBTQI+ individuals’ access to medically necessary care from harmful State and local laws and practices, and shall promote the adoption of promising policies and practices to support health equity, including in the area of mental health care, for LGBTQI+ youth and adults,” the executive order read.

In a press release announcing the proposed legislation, Rep. Banks criticized the executive order from Biden, saying it recommends “irreversible and life-altering surgery for minors too young to apply for a learner’s permit.”

“These procedures lack any solid evidence and have been rejected by public health agencies around the world,” Banks claimed. “Ten years from now, there will be hundreds of thousands of Americans who were permanently scarred by the radical left’s agenda before they reached adulthood. If Democrats truly supported gender-confused children, they’d support our effort to give them legal recourse.”

In contrast, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) this month lowered its “recommended age” for minors to begin transgender hormone usage to 14 and its “recommended age” for undergoing transgender surgeries to between 15 and 17.

Previously, WPATH had recommended that transgender hormone usage begin at age 16 and surgeries be performed no sooner than one year after that.

The lowered age recommendation allegedly stems from a review of “scientific evidence” regarding the “benefits and harms” of gender transitioning in teens, the association noted.

Sen. Cotton stated that “gender-transition procedures aren’t safe or appropriate for children.”

“Unfortunately, radical doctors in the United States perform dangerous, experimental, and even sterilizing gender-transition procedures on young kids, who cannot even provide informed consent,” said Cotton. “Our bill allows children who grow up to regret these procedures to sue for damages. Any doctor who performs these irresponsible procedures on kids should pay.”

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