Tennessee - The ACLU fears a newly proposed law could hurt transgender youth who are under the age of 18 in Tennessee.
On Thursday, the Tennessee Senate passed Senate Bill 0001, which further prohibits a healthcare provider in Tennessee from performing hormone related procedures on a minor if the administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as a sex that’s inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex.
ACLU-TN staff attorney Lucas Cameron-Vaughn had this reaction to House Bill 0001, which is tied to Senate Bill 0001: “We are deeply disturbed that state politicians have voted to interfere with the ability of families to make decisions, in consultation with medical professionals, to provide critical care for young people who are transgender. All Tennesseans should have access to the healthcare they need to survive and thrive. Gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth is safe, necessary, effective and often life-saving. Legislators are risking trans young people’s health, wellbeing and safety with this dangerous legislation. We urge Governor Lee to veto this overreaching, discriminatory bill, or we will see him in court.”
Several laws surrounding healthcare professionals in Tennessee already prohibit doctors from prescribing some hormone related treatment to those who are under the age of 18. House Bill 0001 replaces present law and instead establishes more detailed prohibitions related to the procedures or treatments on minors for certain medical procedures related to gender identity. If signed into law, the bill would create private causes of action for violations and establish additional penalties for any violations of the proposed law.
The Mayo Clinic reports, “Transgender and gender-diverse people might experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives. However, some transgender and gender-diverse people feel at ease with their bodies, with or without medical intervention.”
Both Senate and House Bill 0001 specify that a "medical procedure" includes both surgical procedures and the prescribing, administering, or dispensing of a drug or device to minors who relate to the opposite sex they were born as.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal have promised the transgender youth of Tennessee and their families that they will bring immediate legal action against proposed restrictions on their health care should they be signed into law.
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