CV NEWS FEED // GOP-led efforts to protect children from puberty blockers and hormonal manipulation were denied by federal judges in Kentucky and Tennessee on Wednesday.
The two states’ child protection bills are among the most recent in a series of at least 20 attempts by conservative states to protect minors from irreversible harm caused by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, but federal courts continue to partially block the bills. Courts in at least five other states have given similar rulings, favoring “the constitutional right” of families to obtain “trans” treatments for their children.
In Kentucky, Judge David Hale, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled in favor of the seven “trans” children and their families. The families claimed that they have a constitutional right to seek medical care for their children, and counted cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers as established medical treatment. According to the parents of the “trans” minors, Kentucky’s child protection bill would violate their constitutionally-given parental rights and duties to care for their children.
Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron claimed that Hale’s ruling interferes with state lawmakers’ right to make and enforce public policy. The protection from puberty blocker bill was set to go into effect on June 29, the day after Hale’s decision.
Tennessee’s bill was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, and prohibited health care providers from providing puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or “trans” surgeries to children. Those in violation would have faced a $25,000 fine and other disciplinary actions.
Judge Eli Richardson, appointed by President Donald Trump, partially blocked the Tennessee bill on Wednesday, but did not go so far as to overturn protections from “gender-reassignment” surgeries for minors. Richardson defended his ruling by pointing out that the decision was consistent with other federal courts throughout the country. He also ruled that the bill was unconstitutional.
“If Tennessee wishes to regulate access to certain medical procedures, it must do so in a manner that does not infringe on the rights conferred by the United States Constitution, which is of course supreme to all the other laws of the land,” he said.
Tennessee’s bill came quickly after Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville was accused in October of offering “trans” services because they are “huge money makers,” according to one doctor at the hospital.
In Kentucky, the attempt to protect children from mutilating their bodies is now a key factor in the race for governor. Current Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, vetoed the bill in March, saying that it allowed “too much government interference in personal healthcare issues,” but his veto was later overridden. Beshear is being challenged by Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who supports the bill.