Absolutely NOT to HB2576
Please, vote NO on HB2576 when it comes before the House Health Committe on Tuesday.
This bill is bad for youth and it is bad for healthcare providers.
This bill is trying to undo the recommended treatment approach for children questioning their gender identity. Institutions including the Endocrine Society, American Medical Society, American Psychological Society, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics all advocate for supporting children as they navigate gender identity concerns. And they all agree that safely guided gender transition in children (in collaboration with parents and medical providers) is not a criminal offense, but standard and ethical practice. ***Note: The sponsor talks about the American College of Pediatricians. That organization should NOT be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is also trying to argue that medical interventions like puberty blockers are permanment; they are not.
Denying best practices in medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening. It has been shown to contribute to depression, social isolation, self-hatred, risk of self-harm, and suicidal behavior. Research shows that transgender youth whose families support their gender identity have a decrease in suicidal thoughts, a decrease in suicide attempts, and significant increases in self-esteem and overall health.
Labeling doctors who provide the current ethical standard of care as child abusers is another dangerous feature of this bill. The law should not drive a wedge between doctors and patients.
Additionally, this controversial bill will paint a huge target on Tennessee as we try to reopen our economy to tourism, business, and conventions. That's a risk we don't need to take.
Thank you for considering my views.