According to the Wall Street Journal, five countries – the U.K., Sweden, Finland, Norway and France – are now cautioning doctors to exercise caution in their treatment of minors, citing a lack of evidence that the benefits of transgender therapy outweigh the risks.
Earlier this month, the UK’s National Health Services restricted the use of puberty blockers to clinical trials, effectively banning their use in children.
“These countries have done systematic reviews of evidence,” said transgender care researcher Leor Sapir at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute think tank. “They’ve found that the studies cited to support these medical interventions are too unreliable, and the risks are too serious.”
American politicians have taken notice
“It’s beneficial to see European countries coming to their senses,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) in an interview, referring to the UK’s systematic evidentiary reviews of puberty blockers. According to the report, Republicans plan to make transgender-care issues part of their 2024 election platform.
“This is the issue of our time. This is a hill we’re gonna die on,” said Crenshaw.
Democrats, meanwhile, say Republicans are simply scoring cheap political points.
“They are telling parents that Republican politicians know better than they do what is best for their child,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), echoing comments made by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R).
According to a poll taken late last year and published in May by the Washington Post and KFF, 68% of respondents oppose the use of puberty blockers in children aged 10-14. Since then, over a dozen GOP-run states have restricted medical interventions as part of transgender care – including Texas, which will yank a doctor’s license for providing puberty blockers, surgeries or hormone treatments to most transgender minors.
The U.S. medical community hasn’t wavered in its support for medical interventions and continues to recommend puberty blockers and hormones for minors as a clinical option. Unlike the concerns expressed by many authorities in Europe, U.S. medical associations often treat the science behind such medical interventions as settled.
Last week, delegates at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association endorsed a resolution—co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology and others—that reiterated support for access to medical interventions, saying that GOP claims about transgender care “do not reflect the research landscape.” -WSJ
On the other hand, blue states such as New York have issued guidance allowing teachers to keep a child’s gender transition a secret from their parents. According to the guidance, some students “have not talked to their families about their gender identity because of safety concerns or lack of acceptance and may begin their transition at school without parent/guardian knowledge.”
Of course, this is a big business we’re talking about, so we’ll see how this plays out.