Maine lawmakers are considering a proposal that would expand access to sex-change drugs for minors, including in cases where the child’s parents object to the treatments.
Rep. Erin Sheehan (D-Biddeford) is the lead sponsor of a bill, LD 535, which would allow medical providers to provide sex-change hormones to 16- and 17-year-olds over the objections of parents or legal guardians, according to a draft copy of the bill obtained by the Maine Wire.
Under the proposal, medical providers would have to obtain written informed consent from minors, defined as between 16 and 18 years old, prior to administering the hormones, a process that would include explaining to the minors the consequences of cross-sex hormones.
The bill would also provide immunity to medical providers, including immunity against malpractice suits. That means parents will have no legal recourse if their 16-year-old daughter obtains cross-sex hormones over their objections.
The bill is a concept draft, which means the text isn’t publicly available through the State Legislature’s website, but the following draft circulated among lawmakers last week.
Debates over whether minors should receive puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones have roiled state legislatures across the country all year. While several Republican-controlled states have sought to limit the practices, Maine’s Democrat-controlled legislature is on track to pass several proposals that would legalize, protect, or expand the availability of sex-change related procedures for minors and children.
The debate is fraught with confused terms and euphemisms. Supporters of child sex-changes refer to the treatments as “gender affirming health care,” a phrase most mainstream media outlets have also adopted.
But critics of the policies believe that the only thing being affirmed is gender dysphoria, a psychological condition where an individual is uncomfortable with their physical sex characteristics, and that it’s unethical for doctors to provide life-altering gender drugs to children who cannot fully grasp the significance of the decision.
Although the text is not currently available publicly, lawmakers also debated last week an amendment to LD 535 that concerned the legality of administering sex-change drugs to children when parents do consent.
The bill’s language sets the age threshold for allowing such treatments around the time an individual starts puberty, which in some cases can be as early as six or seven years of age.
That means the bill, if the amendment is adopted, would effectively permit Maine medical providers to prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children as young as seven when their parents approve.
“We may see stages of puberty beginning for young girls as early as the age of seven. Was your intent with this bill to allow children at such a young age to be able, with, even with parental consent to be able to begin medical transitioning?” Rep. Rachael Henderson (R-Rumford) asked Sheehan, the bill’s sponsor, during the work session.
“I mean, not specifically. But I do think it’s important to recognize that puberty is sometimes starts for some children very early,” said Sheehan.
Sheehan then defended the amendment by raising the example of precocious puberty, a rare but recognized medical condition in which children enter puberty far earlier than typical.
Most commonly used puberty blockers were developed for such cases and are already permitted under law.
But Henderson refocused the conversation on the use of such puberty blockers not for precocious puberty, but specifically for cases where parents wish to transition the gender of their children.
“This bill specifically is talking about gender affirming hormone therapy,” said Henderson. “And according to current medical practices, it would mean that gender affirming hormone therapy could be started on girls as young as the age of seven.”
This is simply wrong on so many levels.
What happened to doctors oath to do no harm?
Human brains are not fully developed until 25 years old or so.
The area of the brain which houses judgment is not fully functioning until then.
It does not make sense to allow such life altering procedures until the patient can make fully informed decisions.
Massachusetts passed a law (on the q.t.) a couple of years ago which removes children from the authority of their parents. Few people in Massachusetts are aware of this law, which deems the commonwealth as the owner and sole authority over children.
Has Maine passed such a law yet? If not, it looks like it’s headed in that direction.
This has nothing to do with medical practice but everything to do with control and power. To hold medical practitioners harmless from malpractice suits, which will inevitably arise soon, if they haven’t already, is a clear message to the public of the influence of evil.
Rise, Mainers, and take back your children and your state!
You won’t read about this in the Portland Press Herald.
There is also a bill from Speaker Rachel Ross to an act to establish an affirmative defense to the crime of Criminal Trespass & Aggravated Criminal Trespass if they person is homeless.
Soon hardworking Mainers, taxpayers, will be stripped of all rights.
This is unscientific and brutal surgery. It mutilates children and leaves them with life long health issues. This is propelled by profits for drug companies. First do no harm.
Not allowed to legally drink a beer until 21 but able to take life altering drugs whenever. Makes perfect sense.