PHOENIX (LifeSiteNews) — Arizona Senate Republicans passed legislation Thursday that would ban transgender surgeries for minors, amid an international reckoning on the mutilating, experimental procedures.
SB 1138 passed in a 16-12 vote along party lines, the AP reported. The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Warren Petersen, prohibits irreversible “sex change” surgeries, including genital mutilation procedures, hysterectomies, and mastectomies for children under 18. It does not apply in cases of a “medically verifiable disorder of sex development.”
A previous version of SB 1138 would have also prevented doctors from supplying kids with transgender hormone drugs, such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. But a lone Republican, state Sen. Tyler Pace, blocked the measure earlier this month, refusing to vote it out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Pace voted for the updated bill Thursday, on the grounds that it aligns with standards proposed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), according to the AP.
The WPATH, a radical pro-LGBT organization that defends child mastectomies, has been widely criticized by leading experts.
The group’s latest draft “standards of care” have “significant methodological limitations,” the physician-led Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine (SEGM) warned last month. “There is no strength of recommendation or certainty of evidence attached to them,” the SEGM noted, adding that no consensus exists for how to treat children with gender disorders.
Last week, Sweden broke with WPATH guidelines and formally recommended against hormone drugs for minors, due to “uncertain science” and significant side-effect risks. The dangers of the drugs for those under 18 “outweigh the possible benefits,” Swedish health officials said.
Finland similarly reversed course and discouraged use of hormone blockers for kids in 2020, citing possible impacts to brain maturity.
U.S. regulators have never approved medical treatments for gender dysphoria, and there are no long-term clinical studies on the use of puberty blockers or other “gender transition” practices in minors with gender disorders. Transgender hormones and surgeries have also been linked to a host of serious and life-threatening side effects, including sterilization, heart attacks, and increased risk of stroke.
Sweden’s shift on dangerous transgender drugs follows a report in November 2021, according to which more than a dozen children given puberty blockers at a top Swedish hospital suffered “severe injuries” as a result. One 11-year-old girl given puberty suppressors at Karolinska Children’s Hospital ended up with osteoporosis and damaged vertebrae, SVT reported. Some children suffered liver damage and reduced bone density, and others became suicidal.
“These treatments are potentially fraught with extensive and irreversible adverse consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis,” Karolinska Children’s Hospital acknowledged in a statement in May.
Texas last week also took sweeping action against transgender procedures. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday directed all state agencies to treat hormone drugs and “sex change” surgeries for gender-confused minors as child abuse under state law and investigate any reported cases. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had declared in a legal opinion the day before that the practices violate Texas statutes against child abuse.
Two other U.S. states, Arkansas and Tennessee, have enacted laws in the past year to restrict transgender drugs and surgeries for underage children. And Republican lawmakers in at least 16 states have introduced bills in recent months to ban the practices.
Up to 98 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls with gender dysphoria will grow out of the disorder by adulthood if not subjected to puberty blockers, according to the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
But studies show that nearly all gender-confused kids put on puberty blockers will later take sterilizing cross-sex hormones, which typically lead to mutilating transgender surgeries that have been performed on kids as young as 13 years old in the U.S.