New Hampshire House Passes Bill Banning Genital Transgender Surgery On Children

Abigail Martinez (R), the mother of a transgender teen who committed suicide, sheds tears as Erin Friday comforts her and transgender activists block TV cameras from capturing her story in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 8, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed a bill that prohibits some transgender surgeries on minors, though the measure falls short of the initial intent of the measure that sought to ban all so-called “gender reassignment” procedures for children.

Twelve Democrats joined nearly all Republicans to pass House Bill 619 by a vote of 199-175 on Jan. 5, in a move that came amid a series of other transgender-related bills that the House voted on earlier in the day.

The bill that passed was a watered-down version of the original proposal, which, if passed as introduced, would have banned giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children and would have prohibited the surgical removal of breasts in girls who identify as boys.

The current version of the bill prohibits the carrying out of “genital gender reassignment surgery” on anyone under 18 while also banning health care workers from referring minors for such producers to out-of-state facilities.

Genital gender reassignment surgeries are defined in the bill as surgical procedures to alter the genitalia of children who have no sex development disorders or whose genitals are not “malignant,” meaning cancerous or otherwise dangerous to their physical health.

Banned procedures include removal of the penis and testicles or surgically creating a penis from other parts of the body, with the exception of reconstructive surgery to restore normal form and function to tissue affected by physical pathologies like malformation or trauma.

Male circumcision is also exempt from the ban.

The bill now heads to the GOP-controlled Senate and, if it passes there, then to the desk of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican.

Reactions and Other Bills

Proponents of the bill argued that children should be protected from irreversible gender reassignment surgeries—especially since there’s not much data about their impact and claimed benefits—while opponents said it goes against parental rights and medical freedom.

Rep. Erica Layon, a Republican and co-sponsor of the bill, said that genital reassignment surgeries should be prohibited—at least until more data is available.

We need to wait,” she said, according to the New Hampshire Bulletin, a local news outlet.

The text of the bill states: “Adolescent genital gender reassignment surgery generally lacks both adequate information for informed consent and involves a high risk of coercion for parental consent when parents believe that they are faced with a choice between their child committing suicide or consenting to their child’s genital gender reassignment surgeries.”

Rep. Jonah Wheeler, a Democrat who voted with most Republicans in favor of the measure, explained his reasoning in a speech ahead of the vote.

This is a question of whether or not you believe children should be able to get an irreversible surgery,” Mr. Wheeler said, per the New Hampshire Bulletin.

“Despite being a liberal who believes in human rights, I do not think that children should be able to get irreversible surgery. So I’ll take all the heat that comes from this,” he added.

Rep. Dan Hynes, a Republican who switched to an Independent, said the bill “goes against parental rights and goes against medical freedom.”

Passage of the genital gender reassignment surgery bill came alongside House votes on other transgender-related measures.

Earlier on Jan. 4, the House voted in favor of House Bill 396, which would allow the state and public schools to differentiate based on sex in “places of intimate privacy” such as bathrooms, as well as in prisons and sports competitions.

Also, the House voted against House Bill 264, which would have allowed people to get a new birth certificate reflecting the gender they identify with without having to get a court order.

Medically Necessary?

A number of mental health and pediatric organizations in the United States and abroad advocate for so-called gender-affirming care, saying that medically transitioning children and adults will alleviate suicidal tendencies.

Professionals often dismiss objections to transitioning children by telling parents that a transgender son or daughter is better than a dead child.

About a half-dozen U.S. federal courts have blocked bans on so-called gender-affirming care for children, which proponents argue is “medically necessary” to lower the likelihood that people suffering from gender dysphoria will commit suicide.

Opponents have pushed back on the claim that transgender procedures reduce suicidality, with a research review in March that purports to be the first ever to evaluate mental health outcomes solely from the standpoint of likelihood of suicide, finding that the results are inconclusive.

That’s in part because most of the underlying research failed to control for the time elapsed after transgender procedures, with the researchers suggesting that people who get such procedures may be subject to an initial “honeymoon period” that evaporates over time as they revert to similar levels of suicidal ideation as before.

“There may be implications for the informed-consent process of gender-affirming treatment given the current lack of methodological robustness of the literature reviewed,” the study authors wrote.

Meanwhile, a recent Finnish study found that mental health issues for people who medically transition continue despite “treatment.”

The need for psychiatric care was greater both before and after medical transitioning compared to a control group, the data showed.

The results of the peer-reviewed study also showed that more individuals are seeking help for gender dysphoria and that it is happening at ever younger ages, with a marked increase in female patients.

Darlene McCormick Sanchez contributed to this report.

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

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