The Maine Judiciary Committee faced intense scrutiny today as it postponed a Work Session on a controversial bill that would block cops from reuniting children from out-of-state with their parents if they had been brought to Maine to receive sex change drugs or surgeries.
LD 1735, titled “An Act to Safeguard Gender-affirming Health Care,” was introduced by Rep. Laurie Osher (D-Orono).
Osher told the Maine Wire last year she was inspired to introduce the bill after talking with transgender activists who had gotten a similar measure passed in California.
This controversial bill, which has sparked heated debate, aims to prevent the enforcement of laws from other states if a child has been brought to Maine to receive sex change drugs or surgeries.
LD 1735, if passed, would grant Maine temporary emergency jurisdiction over minors from other states who are unable to access gender-affirming health care due to parental or guardian opposition. This includes a range of procedures from the use of breast binders to irreversible drugs and surgeries like mastectomies and castration.
Rep. David Haggan (R-Hampden), a school teacher, expressed vehement opposition to the bill.
“This bill authorizes the kidnapping and massacring of children from other states without parental consent,” Haggan said.
He urged for an immediate rejection of the bill, emphasizing the need for a “compassionate stand in favor of our children’s physical and mental health.”
Rep. Katrina Smith (R-Palermo) joined in the criticism, voicing her alarm over the bill’s implications.
“The state should never place itself above a loving parent and irreparably destroy the reproductive health of a minor child,” Smith said.
Smith also highlighted concerns about the long-term physical and emotional effects of gender transitioning on children.
Although adherents to transgender ideology believe that sex changes drugs and surgeries almost always result in positive healthcare outcomes for patients, several European countries have begun backing away from pharmaceutical and surgical interventions for patients suffering gender dysphoria.
In the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and France, health officials have said the quality of scientific evidence supporting sex change drugs and surgeries for minors is low, especially for young children and adolescents.
The shift in the medical communities’ thinking around so-called “gender affirming care” has yet to translate into policy outcomes in Maine, which last year expanded access to sex change procedures for minors. Under Maine’s Medicaid program, known as MaineCare, sex changes procedures, even for Mainers, can be paid for a taxpayer expense.
The committee’s decision to delay further discussion on the bill until Jan. 25 comes after Rep. Haggan’s motion to expedite and dismiss the bill ended in a 5-5 tie amongst committee members.