". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Maryland Dems Back Bill Requiring Parental Consent for Gender Transition Procedures on Minors

February 23, 2024

A deep-blue state is advancing bipartisan legislation to criminalize gender transition procedures for children without parental consent. On Wednesday, Maryland’s House of Delegates hosted a hearing on House Bill 722, which would bar performing gender transition procedures — including surgery or prescription of puberty blockers or hormone drugs — on minors without parental notification and consent.

The bill’s text explicitly prohibits “a health care provider from knowingly engaging in or causing certain medical or surgical procedures to be performed on a minor without the consent of the parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor…”

The specific procedures banned include prescribing hormone drugs, puberty blockers, testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, and “performing surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy,” as well as “surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty,” and the removal of healthy, non-diseased body parts or tissue. Any of these procedures, if performed on a minor, would require a parent’s or guardian’s notification and approval or else whoever performs the procedure could be convicted of a misdemeanor and face one to three years in prison. The bill also stipulates that parental consent is not required for a health care provider to reverse gender transition attempts.

The bill is sponsored by 16 Republican delegates and three Democrats. Wednesday’s hearing was conducted by the House Health and Government Operations Committee. Currently, Maryland is one of five states which allows children as young as 12 years old to consent to life-altering medical, chemical, and surgical procedures without parental approval.

Delegate Lauren Ariken (R-Hartford County) introduced the bill late last month. “Maryland should not become a permissive state experimenting on children, especially seeing what other countries are doing to protect minors, such as Sweden and Finland,” she said. “Current Maryland law does not protect parents’ rights to be the primary decision-makers for their children’s health and well-being when it comes to transgender medical practices.”

Ariken was joined on the witness panel Wednesday by Jamie Reed, a woman who identifies as queer and who quit her job at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital amid concerns that there were no safeguards surrounding gender transition procedures for minors. Ariken was also reportedly joined by Ismail Royer of the Religious Freedom Institute, psychologist Jerry Lawler, epidemiologist Dr. Henry Mosley of Johns Hopkins University, and Lisa Geraghty, a Maryland mom of a child desistor (someone who did not follow through on gender transition procedures).

Responding to a question from Delegate Matt Morgan (R-St. Mary’s County), Reed said of her experience witnessing gender transition procedures impact children, “I see some of the biggest harms being caused to the boys.” Warning that her testimony was graphic, Reed continued to describe the lasting damage done by gender transition procedures for children. She explained that puberty blockers halt a boy’s penis and testicles from growing and developing, preventing him from being able to have his own biological children later in life even if he desists.

Worse still, she explained that performing a vaginoplasty (the surgical creation of an artificial vagina by inverting a penis) on a teenage boy who’s taken puberty blockers means that there “isn’t enough tissue to invert anymore, so the surgeries are getting more dangerous and these kids are having to go through surgeries where we’re using parts of their colon to try to create the vaginal canal.”

Maryland isn’t the only state in which Democrats are backing measures to protect children from transgenderism. According to The Daily Signal, at least three other states have seen Democrats side with Republicans against unrestricted gender transition procedures for minors. Additionally, even blue states like New Jersey have signaled support for parental notification and consent policies where gender transition attempts are concerned.

Significantly, even legacy media outlets like The New York Times have begun reporting on the warnings detransitioners issued against gender transition procedures, especially for children. All this comes as the pro-LGBT Department of Health and Human Services offered only a two-page PDF document containing one study to support so-called “gender-affirming care” for children.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.