Story at a glance
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Friday introduced a measure that would make it a felony to provide gender-affirming medical care including puberty blockers and hormones to transgender youth under 18.
- The measure would also prohibit using federal funds for gender-affirming health care, including in Affordable Healthcare Act plans, and bar colleges and universities from offering instruction on gender-affirming care.
- The bill has 14 Republican co-sponsors so far.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced a bill Friday that would make providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender minors a felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Greene’s “Protect Children’s Innocence Act” outlaws more than a dozen medical interventions and procedures used to treat gender dysphoria in transgender young people, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and certain kinds of surgeries done “for the purpose of changing the body of such individual to correspond to a sex that differs from their biological sex.”
The measure would also prohibit using federal funds for gender-affirming health care, including in Affordable Healthcare Act plans.
“When it comes to ‘gender-affirming care,’ which is really child abuse, this is actually an assault and it’s child abuse,” Greene said Thursday evening during an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“This practice should never happen,” Greene told host Tucker Carlson. “It’s so disgusting and appalling … this needs to be illegal.”
Under Greene’s bill, anyone who “knowingly performs any gender-affirming care on a minor” is guilty of a class C felony, carrying a punishment of 10 to 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, Greene’s office said.
The measure is similar to a first-of-its-kind Alabama law passed earlier this year that makes it a felony, punishable by up to a decade in prison, for doctors or others to assist transgender youth younger than 19 in accessing gender-affirming medical care, including puberty blockers or hormone therapy.
A federal judge in May partially blocked state officials from enforcing the law, ruling that Alabama had not produced any credible evidence that gender-affirming health care is “experimental” and parents – not the states or the federal courts – play the primary role in caring for their children.
Attorneys for the state have sought to appeal the decision.
Greene’s bill would also prohibit institutions of higher education from providing instruction on gender-affirming care and bar doctors that have provided gender-affirming care to a minor from receiving visas or being admitted to the U.S.
Greene’s bill has 14 Republican cosponsors so far: Reps. Mary Miller (Ill.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Bob Good (Va.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Tony Gonzales (Texas), Rep. Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.), Clay Higgins (La.), Burgess Owens (Utah), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Lance Gooden (Texas), Lauren Boebert (Colo.) and Paul Gosar (AZ).
House Republican leaders have started to lean into culture war fights regarding transgender individuals, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pledging to bring up a bill that prohibits transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports if Republicans win the House majority.
Greene on Friday tweeted that two Republican U.S. Senate candidates – J.D. Vance of Ohio and Blake Masters of Arizona – have promised to support her bill if they are elected.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the names of additional cosponsors.Published on Aug 19,2022