Expect More States to Protect Kids From Experimental Transgender Drugs in 2020

a boy holds up cut outs of a man and a woman, looking confused as he chooses between them.

When a jury awarded custody of the 7-year-old Texas boy James Younger to his mother, who treats him like a girl and wants him to undergo experimental drugs and genital mutilation, it shocked America. Protests outside the courtroom snowballed. Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Texas) opened an investigation. More than 200,000 people signed a petition to save the boy from chemical castration.

Perhaps most consequentially, Republican state representatives in Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, and — most recently — South Carolina proposed laws to prohibit the use of experimental drugs like so-called "puberty blockers" and cross-sex hormones on minors. While major medical associations have embraced the transgender ideology and insist these experimental drugs will help gender-confused children, others have warned that the "treatments" actually cause a disease.

For these reasons, pro-family groups have predicted that laws banning experimental transgender "treatments" for children are likely to pop up across the states in 2020, as more state legislatures re-convene.

"I think in 2020 we will see other states enter the fray and attempt to protect minors from undergoing unproven, harmful, and irreversible, decisions that will dramatically impact their health every day for the rest of their lives," Matt Carpenter, deputy director of state and local affairs at the Family Research Council (FRC), told PJ Media.

"We applaud state legislators that would take a look at legislation to prohibit medical professionals from administering or performing harmful and irreversible services for minors with the intention of transitioning them into the opposite sex," he added. "The recent custody battle over 7-year-old Texan James Younger focused the national attention on the reality that young children could be referred for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy—and eventually, invasive surgery to create the appearance of the opposite sex. Thankfully legislators in Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas are looking into protecting minors from these unproven and dangerous procedures."

"Recognizing that there is a high rate of minors who grow out of their gender non-conforming identities, we think minors should be protected from treatments that would stop the normal course of puberty and eventually bombard their young bodies with hormones intended for the opposite sex. If it is likely a young person is going to grow out of a gender non-conforming identity and live at peace with their God-given body then the state ought to respect the natural pubertal process for minors," Carpenter explained.

"This is especially true when we consider that these treatments are likely to place that child on hormone treatments for the rest of their life, as well as permanently sterilize them, among a host of other possible health complications," he added.

Indeed, men and women who once identified as transgender have grown to reject that identity, lamenting the serious damage they did to their bodies. "I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o'clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman, that’s my reality," admitted one women who once identified as a man and took cross-sex hormones. Recently, one man described his artificial female anatomy as a "Frankenstein hack job."

A woman who once considered herself a man has set up a network for detransitioners in Britain, and she suggested that no one should undergo irreversible surgeries until they reach the age of 25, when their brains mature. Children are not mature enough to make long-term decisions that can scar them for life or make them permanently sterile.

"It is not unusual for a child to be confused about issues related to gender. This type of confusion will only increase as the embrace of the transgender movement grows among the nation’s elites," Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president at the American Family Association (AFA), told PJ Media. Indeed,

"Sadly, even some parents have bought into the nonsense that gender is a mere construct of society. But when those parents allow their children to become experiments involving drugs and other life-altering treatments, state legislatures will inevitably have to step in," Vitagliano insisted. "Whether or not those legislative efforts are initially successful, they still must be undertaken for the sake of the children."

"It will no doubt take time for this transgender madness to break like a dangerous fever, but in the meantime, countless young lives may very well be ruined," he lamented.

Carpenter, the FRC deputy state director, drew attention to some of the efforts to protect children from experimental transgender drugs before the James Younger case became national news.

State legislators have filed bills to: prohibit puberty-blocking drugs or opposite-sex hormones to children in Illinois; to prohibit transgender surgery on minors in New Hampshire; to prohibit taxpayer-funded insurance plans from providing transgender surgery for inmates, state employees, and those on state Medicaid in Alaska; to prohibit the state Medicaid system from funding transgender surgery and hormone therapy in New Hampshire; to prohibit insurance coverage for transgender surgery for children in Pennsylvania; and to prohibit insurance coverage for transgender surgery in Minnesota.

As for children considering puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw strenuously warned against these experimental drugs.

"I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease," Laidlaw told PJ Media. When people are exposed to far more of the opposite sex hormone than their bodies can handle, they are at "increased risk for cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular death, deep vein thrombosis. They’ve looked at adults taking these hormones and have seen already these cardiovascular risks." When these drugs are administered to children, "one would presume it's the same or even worse, in the long run."

Laidlaw warned of similar effects from "so-called puberty-blocking medication like Lupron." These drugs "may be used for prostate cancer or have a use in females for endometriosis. They stop the pituitary gland to stop from functioning correctly." By preventing the natural secretion of hormones, Lupron in kids "blocks development of their organs, and their growth is stunted. If it’s started in early puberty, these kids will not develop mature sperm or eggs, they will be infertile. If they have gonads removed, they will be sterilized."

"They’re going to end up with lower bone density, perhaps stunted brain development," the doctor explained. "A lot of the brain impact is unknown. There seems to be some brain development that is sex hormone-dependent."

No child has the maturity to make such life-altering decisions, and most children and young adults will grow to reject a transgender identity. State laws are necessary to prevent this kind of child abuse. Lives are being ruined.

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.