The conservative pulse of the American South is becoming evident as a majority of Southern states enact laws to protect minors from irreversible medical procedures often associated with transitioning genders. The statutes are a response to a rising trend in so-called “gender-affirming care,” which includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgeries. These laws overwhelmingly safeguard the well-being of children under 18 by prohibiting medical professionals from administering such treatments.
According to The Hill, 12 of the 16 states traditionally labeled as Southern have passed such laws since 2021. This accounts for over half of all transgender procedure bans for minors nationwide. In states like Florida and Missouri, the restrictions extend even to adults. The sentiment is so strong that in Louisiana, Kentucky and North Carolina, Democratic governors who vetoed these laws were overridden by their GOP-dominated legislatures.
An overwhelming majority of states in the American South have passed laws banning so-called “gender-affirming care” for children under 18, which includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and genital mutilation surgery.https://t.co/9frEp1wFKb
— American Greatness (@theamgreatness) August 28, 2023
While some critics say these laws represent a setback for LGBT rights, many conservatives view them as a victory for common sense and children’s welfare. “The use of these medications in general — let alone for children — almost certainly is not ‘deeply rooted’ in our nation’s history and tradition,” stated a three-judge panel of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Recent court decisions have echoed this sentiment, upholding the legality of such bans.
Despite vocal opposition from left-wing organizations, the momentum seems not on their side, especially in the South. Adam Polanski, communications director at the Campaign for Southern Equality, admitted, “Many of the states in the South are effectively a single-party government.”
For those against the legislation, the focus has shifted to raising money to help families travel to states that still offer such medical procedures for minors. However, this does not change the fact that many citizens feel the laws are not regressive but protective.
It’s worth noting that many conservative parents and healthcare professionals are concerned about the long-term impact of life-altering procedures on minors. The argument revolves around the child’s capability to make a monumental decision with irreversible consequences. In essence, the laws preserve minors’ right to make such significant choices when they are of a more appropriate age and can fully grasp the ramifications of permanent medical procedures.