Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has introduced legislation that would make providing gender affirming care for transgender minors a class C felony, prohibit federal funds—including Medicaid funds—from being used for gender affirming care for transgender people, prohibit medical schools from teaching about gender affirming care, prohibit health care plans under the Affordable Care Act from funding gender affirming care, and prohibit anyone found to have performed gender affirming care from immigrating to the United States.
Greene’s bill, dubbed the “Protect Children’s Innocence Act,” prohibits the following procedures from being performed on minors: “castration,” “vasectomy,” “any plastic surgery that feminizes or masculinizes the facial features,” and “any placement of fat or artificial implants in the gluteal region.”
While minors are not subjected to gender affirming surgery, the bill also prohibits the use of puberty blockers and hormone therapy. Puberty blockers are used in the treatment of transgender youth to delay the permanent changes associated with puberty, giving young people more time to better understand their gender identities. The reversible medications have been shown to significantly reduce transgender people’s lifelong suicide risk. Gender-affirming care for pubescent youth is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and other major medical/mental health organizations when appropriate.
While these procedures would be prohibited when performed on transgender patients, the bill clearly states that doctors are still free to operate on intersex people to make their bodies look more like a specific gender.
According to the bill, people who receive gender affirming care cannot be prosecuted. It specifically targets medical professionals and threatens them with jail time if they provide care in accordance with current medical standards. Federal class C felonies carry a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years.
Greene claims that her bill has 12 Republican cosponsors. Other extremists on the list include Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is currently under investigation for alleged child sex trafficking. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), another anti-LGBTQ extremist, is not one of Greene’s original cosponsors.
Greene described gender affirming care as “child abuse” on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show last week, saying it “should never happen” and is “so disgusting and appalling that it’s an embarrassment to our country.”
“It’s really genital mutilation, it’s puberty blockers that cause chemical castration, teenage girls having their breasts cut off, teenage boys being castrated,” she explained. “This should be illegal.”
She went on to say that her bill would make it a class C felony for “anyone involved in so-called gender-affirming care,” which she defined as puberty blockers and hormone therapy.
The bill is opposed by LGBTQ activists.
“All people, including transgender young people,” Dr. Kellan E. Baker said in a statement. Baker is the executive director of the Whitman-Walker Institute. “For transgender children, pediatricians provide social support, such as encouraging a family to allow a child to wear clothing or a hairstyle that helps them feel more comfortable. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, but the reality is that the only form of gender-affirming care for children is social support that helps kids understand and explore their gender as they grow up.”
“Bills that target health-care providers and patients are risky political stunts.” This is completely false and contradicts decades of research and medical expert recommendations. Politicians have no business interfering in the personal health care decisions of families.”
“This attack highlights the importance of the federal government finalizing and implementing expanded nondiscrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act to ensure that all people, including transgender people, have a fair opportunity to access the health care they require.”