April 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – California, Oregon, and the Obama administration are increasingly forcing taxpayers to pay the price for transgender people to transition from one sex to another – even underwriting drugs that would stop the natural course of puberty.
Oregon is the first state in the nation to fund “puberty suppression” shots through Medicaid. The shots prevent puberty from naturally developing various physical characteristics of either sex, thus allowing a child to decide if he or she wants to develop normally at a later date – or attempt to change his or her gender.
The drug used to suppress puberty, Lupron, costs $7,500 per injection. It has been often used on children who start puberty early, and to treat prostate cancer and fibroid tumors.
In addition to its hefty price tag, the drug also carries side effects for children. Dr. Megan Bird of the Legacy Medical Group in Portland, Oregon, told NPR that “the biggest risk that we talk about is bone deposition.”
Additionally, “kids who first start Lupron get headaches and hot flushes sometimes, but those are usually only for a few weeks, and then they go away,” she said. “Other issues is that they're out of sync with their peers.”
Sterility is also a risk, though Bird told NPR that allowing a child to temporarily begin puberty is possible – which would allow the harvesting of sperm and eggs for use at a later time.
Meanwhile in California, a judge has ruled that a transgender surgery that could cost as much as $100,000 must be given to a 51-year-old male prisoner who wishes to become female.
The state's prison system has not said whether it will appeal the ruling.
California and eight other states require private insurers to cover transgender-related medical care, and the state's Medicaid system also pays for transgender treatments.
The San Francisco judge who made the decision said that not providing transgender treatments violated the Eighth Amendment rights of the prisoner. RT.com reports that if the operation is successfully done, it would be the second such operation in U.S. prisons.
The first was done to Richard Masbruch after he castrated himself.
The Eighth Amendment was also cited in a recent decision by the Obama administration's Department of Justice, which told prison systems that total prohibitions on hormone treatments for transgender inmates is unconstitutional.
According to the New York Times, a 36-year-old prisoner held at the men's facility in the Georgia State Prison sued the state of Georgia in February for not continuing hormone treatment so he could present himself as a female.
His lawyers say that their client “has lost breast tissue and [his] female secondary sex characteristics have diminished.”
“Prison officials have the obligation to assess and treat gender dysphoria just as they would any other medical or mental health condition,” said Vanita Gupta, the Justice Department’s top civil rights prosecutor. “Freeze-frame policies can have serious consequences to the health and well-being of transgender prisoners, who are among the most vulnerable populations incarcerated in our nation’s prisons and jails.”
So-called “freeze-frame policies” allow prisoners to receive treatments they are on when entered into prisons, but not afterward. Because the Georgia prisoner — identified by the Times as Ashley Diamond — was not listed as “transgender” when he entered prison, treatment was discontinued.
According to court documents, the Department of Justice says that the Georgia prison system, which has not yet commented on the decision by the federal agency, is violating Diamond's Eighth Amendment rights for the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment.
Federal taxpayers are currently on the hook for transgender treatment for Bradley “Chelsea” Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking 700,000 military documents while serving in the Army, as well as transgender treatments for senior citizens under Medicare.