Tenn. bill would make it child abuse to give kids sex change procedures

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According to the U.S. Trans Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, a third of trans people have faced discrimination from a health care provider. USA TODAY

In the wake of a Texas controversy in which a mother is trying to “transition” her son into a girl against the wishes of the boy’s father, two Tennessee Republicans have filed legislation to ban sex changes for children, require the approval of three doctors for teens to receive any such treatment and to establish criminal penalties for the practice.

The bill, filed by state Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, and state Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, would charge parents and medical providers with child abuse for taking part in the treatment process, according to USA Today.

House Bill 2576 defines “sexual identity change therapy” as treatment involving hormone replacement, puberty blockers “or other medical intervention to change the sexual identity or physical appearance of a patient” to one that “does not correspond to the anatomy and chromosomal makeup with which the patient was born.” “Any prepubescent child, especially one who isn’t old enough to cross the street by themselves, is probably not old enough to decide they want to change their sex,” Ragan said of the legislation

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