Legislation Covering Gender, Sex Transition Procedures Being Considered By Lawmakers In Annapolis

It would prohibit health care providers from assigning medications, surgeries to minors without parental consent.

Delegate Lauren Arikan, Harford County  (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM) Minors would not be permitted to take puberty blockers or other gender transition medications without parental knowledge or consent if a bill sponsored by Harford County Delegate Lauren Arikan is passed, by the General Assembly.

She told reporters last week that under current state law, minors  16 and 17 years of age could take gender and sex transition medications without parents’ or guardians’ knowledge. “We had a couple of complaints actually from personal friends of mine whose children have experience pretty extreme pressure from health care providers to transition without their parents’ knowledge or consent,”  she says.

Her legislation would also cover gender-assigning surgery. “I have not had any complaints of minors consenting to surgeries,” Arikan said.  “But, in my opinion, there’s no reason not to include that in this because it’s obviously severely outside the scope of what would be best for a child.”

The bill underwent a public hearing last Wednesday before the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

Delegate Arikan said these medications may not be safe for anyone to use. She said recently the US Food and Drug Administration put out a warning about puberty blockers, say they could cause brain damage or vision loss. “As it stands today, the science is literally still evolving on whether or not these medications are actually safe. Even if they’re safe for some, who are they safe for, and what are the risks associated with them. Parents need to be involved fin that conversation,” she said.

The bill has several co-sponsors, including Frederick County Delegate Jesse Pippy,. and Delegates William Valentine and William Wivell, who represent parts of Frederick and Washington Counties.

By Kevin McManus