Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance introduces legislation to ban all gender-affirming care for minors
Vance’s bill would criminalize the provision of puberty blockers and hormone treatments to most people under the age of 18.
Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance on July 18 introduced federal legislation that would ban all gender-affirming care for anyone under the age of 18.
The bill states that anyone offering banned treatments to minors, or even helping minors travel to receive the treatments, could be fined or face up to 12 years in prison, or both.
Specifically, Vance’s bill would ban anyone from “Administering, supplying, prescribing, dispensing, distributing, or otherwise conveying to the individual” medications or hormones that delay puberty or are what the bill calls “supraphysiologic,” that is, in quantities greater than those normally found in a person’s body based on “biological sex.”
The bill defines biological sex as “the indication of male or female sex by reproductive potential or capacity, sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads, or internal or external genitalia present at birth.”
The text of the bill includes an exception for intersex individuals.
The legislation additionally would prohibit federal funding for any gender-affirming treatment, including for health benefit plans that include coverage for such care, regardless of whether or not the coverage is used.
Called the Protect Children’s Innocence Act, S. 2357 mirrors a bill introduced in March in the House of Representatives by Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“Under no circumstances should doctors be allowed to perform these gruesome, irreversible operations on underage children,” Vance told conservative news site the Daily Caller in announcing the bill.
The effects of puberty blocking medications are in fact entirely reversible, while those of hormone treatments can mostly be reversed.
“With this legislation, we have an opportunity to save countless young Americans from a lifetime of suffering and regret,” Vance said. “I want to thank Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for leading on this issue, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to protect children from these life-altering procedures.”
Neither Vance’s bill nor Greene’s is likely to become law in the current Congress, with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly come out against bans on gender-affirming care for minors. It said in a 2022 statement: “Our organizations strongly oppose any legislation or regulation that would discriminate against gender-diverse individuals, including children and adolescents, or limit access to comprehensive evidence-based care which includes the provision of gender-affirming care. Any discrimination based on gender identity or expression is damaging to the socioemotional health of children and families as evidenced by increased risk of suicide in this population.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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