Lawmakers in the state of Alabama have sponsored legislation designed to protect minors 18 and younger from life-altering drugs and surgery based on their belief that their gender differs from their biological sex.
Two Republican state legislators — Rep. Wes Allen in the House and Shay Shelnutt in the Senate — are behind the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.
The Senate already passed the bill, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled it in the House. Allen plans to introduce it again in the next session, which begins on February 2.
“These kids that are suffering from that psychological disorder, we need to treat those patients and those kids and try to help them and not give them these powerful drugs,” Allen said.
Allen said minors with gender dysphoria should get counseling but not medications that could have permanent health consequences.
The al.com website reported on activists who believe children should have access to these kinds of medical treatment if it is what the child and parent want:
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2018 saying that transgender identity is not a mental disorder and that medications to suppress puberty and cross-sex hormones can be part of an broad-based “gender-affirmative care model.”
In its policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics said such surgeries are typically reserved for adults but occasionally are done on adolescents.
The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for people who identify as LGBTQ, opposed the legislation last year and said it promoted misinformation and would interfere with efforts by families and health care professionals to help young people with what is already a difficult condition.
Allen was asked if he believes people can have a gender other than their biological sex.
“I have a biblical worldview that we’re all made in the image of God and there are only two sexes, male and female,” Allen said. “And I believe in science, I believe in biology, and when a person is born male, they’re male. When a person is born female, they’re female.”
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