NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have filed a new bill that aims to limit gender transition treatment available for children.
On Wednesday, Tennessee Majority Leaders William Lamberth and Jack Johnson introduced the Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act which aims to provide the nation’s strongest protections against the removal of a child’s body parts.
The bill, also known as House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, would ban medical interference that alters a child’s hormonal balance and procedures that remove their organs to enable the minor to identify as a gender different from their biological sex.
According to a release, the new bill comes after a conservative commentator put out tweets and a video concerning Vanderbilt Medical Center’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic. House Republican lawmakers allege the tweets raised nationwide awareness and serious ethical concerns about procedures performed on minors at pediatric transgender clinics across the country.
Lamberth said the new bill will protect children from making “adult decisions.”
“Interfering or destroying the healthy, normal reproductive organs of a child for the purpose of altering their appearance is profoundly unethical and morally wrong,” Lamberth said. “Tennesseans across our state have demanded an immediate call to action. Through the passage of House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1, Tennessee will protect vulnerable children who cannot give informed consent for adult decisions they aren’t ready for.”
Under the new act, state attorney generals will be allowed to bring action against a healthcare provider who knowingly violates the law and courts will be allowed to impose a $25,000 penalty per violation.
The act will also allow a child or the parent of a child injured by the violation to sue for damages and grants a child the opportunity to bring a civil cause of action against a parent if a parent consented to the violation on the minor’s behalf.
Leaders say the bill will make exceptions for children who were born with chromosomal anomalies or congenital defects.
The 113th Tennessee General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Jan. 10, 2023.