On Monday, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill banning transgender treatments for minors. The bill bans medical providers from offering sex change surgeries or treatments to minors.
The bill was passed by a large majority in a vote that resulted in 26 votes in favor and six against the bill. All Republican politicians voted in favor of this new law. The rule bans puberty blockers, hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries. In addition, FOX News reported that physicians who continue to provide transgender treatment to minors could lose their medical licenses.
A law designed to protect minors
Tennessee Republican Senator Jack Johnson, sponsor of Senate Bill 1, said the bill is designed to protect minors who are often unaware of what they are doing:
It helps the minor children who otherwise might be subjected to surgical procedures that remove body parts or being prescribed medications that make permanent changes to a child’s body.
In addition, the Republican stated in The Tennesean that "gender dysphoria is a mental health condition, and should therefore be treated as a mental health condition." Senator Heidi Campbell, one of the six who voted against the bill, disagrees. She claimed, in statements reported by FOX News, that it should not be up to the government to decide whether someone should undergo medical treatment or not:
We find the majority of people who do this did indeed know early that this is something that they wanted to do. I would just say inevitably it doesn’t really matter because this isn’t a decision that should be made by the government, this is something that should be left to people and families to make with their medical providers.
This law is similar to the one South Dakota passed on the same day. Other states such as Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas also took similar measures and limited or banned this type of treatment in their state.