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Presidential hopeful Mike Pence Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Adults who want to undergo surgical or chemical mutilation should be able to do so, said former Vice President Mike Pence.

“I’m heartened to hear the progress in other countries protecting kids from chemical or surgical gender transition. I strongly support efforts in my home state of Indiana and around the country to prohibit gender transition, chemical, or surgical treatment for children under the age of 18,” the Republican presidential candidate told Jordan Peterson on a recent episode of The Dr. Jordan B. Peterson Podcast.

Pence’s position on adults being able to get unsafe drugs injected into their bodies or having healthy organs removed puts him on the same side as leftist groups including Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign.

Peterson had asked Pence what he would do at the federal level to push back against leftism, including in the schools.

“I’m libertarian enough to say if you’re an adult you live while you live. You know, I may not agree with decisions you make, but we’ll love you, and love our neighbor as ourselves as my faith requires, right?” Pence said. “But live and let live. But for our kids, absolutely not. We’ve got to take a strong stand.

“I did a town hall on CNN not long ago, and the host of the show insisted on asking me — I think about five times in a row — about why I took such a strong stand on that, and I said ‘Look, I’m standing here not just as a former vice president and a governor. I’m a dad. I’m a grandfather. This is really about protecting our kids from making decisions early in their lives.'”

“But when they’re not equipped to make them… There’s a reason we don’t let kids drive cars until they’re 16, and you know you can’t even get a tattoo under the age of 18 in my home state so that, [there exists] this principle of protecting kids from irreversible choices, [as] you know and have spoken more eloquently [about] than maybe anyone else about the deleterious effects,” Pence told Peterson.

READ: US takes more extreme position on transgender issues under Biden than many Western nations

He then pivoted to his support for school choice, where parents have the freedom to use their tax dollars to pick the best educational options for their kids.

It is not possible for someone to change their gender. It is also not a settled fact that adults will not come to regret their “gender transition.”

For example, Helena Kerschner used to present herself as a man. Following a short interview with a Planned Parenthood staffer, she started testosterone injections at the age of 18.  She later regretted her decision and has since spoken out against the surgical and chemical mutilation of individuals.

Like Kerschner, Michelle Zacchigna from Orillia, Ontario also identified Tumblr and social media pressure as culprits in her decision to undergo “gender-reassignment.” She started exploring the process when she was 21 years old. Camille Kiefel also came to regret her double mastectomy, a surgery she underwent when she was in her twenties.

While VP Pence gained a reputation for being a defender of the preborn, he has also caved to political pressure as governor and has dodged questions about federal laws on same-sex “marriage.”

For example, as governor he watered down religious freedom protections after lobbying from business interest groups.
In 2022, Pence said he supported Biblical marriage but avoided saying that Obergefell v. Hodges should not be enshrined into law.

“We can disagree with Supreme Court decisions, but we can’t disobey them,” Pence said. “I respect the pronouncements of the Court.”