Kansas bills would stop doctors from cutting off minor’s sex organs

TOPEKA – Conservative Kansas lawmakers hope they can resurrect efforts for laws that failed last year to create penalties for doctors and healthcare providers who cut off or mutilate the genitals of gender dysphoric children to encourage their errant mental condition. 

The Kansas House and Senate held hearings on two bills Thursday, HB 2792 and HB 2791, which would combine to protect minor children whose parents seek such extreme procedures, which presently are legal, primarily by placing enforcement authority on providers who would execute the surgeries and/or administer chemical castration drugs or puberty blockers to stop a young person’s natural physical development. Forwarded by Coffeyville Republican House Member Ron Bryce and Wichita Republican Representative Brenda Landwehr respectively, both bills were exempted by House leadership from the February 23rd turnaround deadline – the deadline by which bills in one house should be referred to the other for consideration.

A 54-year-old transgender woman presented at Cleveland Clinic with vaginal stenosis. She was seeking surgical revision after complications from gender affirmation surgeries performed at other care centers failed to establish a functional neovagina./Cleveland Clinic photo

Committees heard testimony from witnesses who themselves had gone through the so-called “transitioning” procedures and decided against finishing those treatments. One of those witnesses, 19 year-old Chloe Cole from California, told legislators she fell victim to the popular gender fluid ideology that targets kids who are different or are suffering from various levels of autism, and that the medical industry needed to be stopped from taking advantage of those children.

The number of minors and young adults “identifying” as transgender has seen a marked increase in recent years, following the advent of social media and its various impacts on young people, leading to theories that social contagion may be heavily responsible for the rise in the condition among teens and young adults. A New York Post article from March 2023 notes a UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute study of Centers For Disease Control and Prevention data showing while the percentage of adults who identify as transgender has remained steady at 0.6% since its last report in 2017, some 1.4% of 13-to 17-year-olds and 1.3% of 18-to 24-year-olds identify as transgender. Five years ago, both of those numbers stood at 0.7%. Together, the two groups are estimated to account for nearly 700,000 people.

While much of the debate surrounding so-called transgender issues has circulated around issues of fairness in girls sports and debates about parental ethics in allowing their children to undergo chemical and surgical alteration, a nearly ignored issue entails the amount of money such surgeries and procedures generate for healthcare providers.

A report from Grand View Research highlighted in a 2022 Daily Wire investigation on the finances of hospitals providing gender change services showed some $1.9 billion in those activities in 2021, with an annual growth rate forecast of more than 11% through 2030. The report cited the rising incidents of gender dysphoria and an increasing number of people opting for gender change surgeries to boost those revenues through the forecast period.

The report was confirmed by viral video footage also published by the Daily Wire showing a Vanderbilt University Hospital doctor emphasizing the money such surgeries can bring in, noting chest reconstruction surgeries – which can be performed on minors – can generate $40,000, and female-to-male bottom surgeries can produce $100,000 in revenue per procedure and resulting follow-ups.

Emotional opponents of the current Kansas bills asserted that legislators who supported the prohibitions on the procedures would have ‘blood on their hands’, recounting that transgender individuals have a far higher risk of suicide than their traditional gendered peers. Reverend Carolyn Dean, pastor at the Plymouth Congregational UCC Church in Lawrence, told lawmakers the medical procedures qualified as life-saving care because of that higher suicide rate.

But the most extensive follow-up study of sex reassigned individuals that took place over 30 years in Sweden showed that 10 to 15 years after surgical reassignment the suicide rate of those who had undergone the procedures rose to some 20 times that of comparable peers, suggesting that untreated mental and emotional conditions remain despite attempts at physically re-crafting an individual to resemble the opposite sex.

Presently 23 states have banned such surgeries and drug therapies. A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Laura Kelly last year, and was never pursued by Senate members for fear of lacking enough votes required to meet a ⅔ majority to override.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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