The idea that states are “laboratories of democracy” is a maxim in constitutional parlance denoting how different regions of the country can exercise autonomy over an issue free from federal interference, particularly if the United States Constitution is silent on the matter.
When it comes to the transgender craze broadsiding our politics, however, this principle of “federalism” has given us both good and bad news.
Let’s start with the bad news first, simply to get it out of the way.
Whereas states governed by conservative politicians are moving in the direction to protect confused children from harmful puberty blockers and mutilative surgeries, states led by progressive pols are going in the exact opposite direction: encouraging as many kids as possible to get pumped full of toxic drugs and permanently alter their bodies, usurping parental authority in the process.
Consider what’s happening in Washington State, as the latest illustration.
Seattle-based radio talk host Jason Rantz reports that liberals in the state legislature have “proposed a bill that effectively encourages minors to run away from home to receive gender-affirming care, including gender reassignment surgery, without parental consent and at taxpayer expense.”
According to the pending legislation, government-funded “shelters” aren’t obligated to track down parents when minors abscond from the home in search of receiving “protected health care services” behind their parents’ back.
Here’s how the bill defines such “services”:
“Protected health care services means gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services that are lawful in the state of Washington,” which constitutes “health services or products that support and affirm an individual’s gender identity, including social, psychological, behavioral, and medical or surgical interventions.”
To make matters worse, Washington State taxpayers would be on the hook for a cool $7.5 million to subsidize these gruesome procedures.
One of the bill’s chief supporters claims to have re-thought the portion that sanctions surgery without parental consent, although the legislation continues to permit minors to secure dangerous hormonal treatment without informing parents.
Regardless, it’s obvious that progressives in Washington State view the trajectory of progress as assuming the role of the family on questions pertaining to gender and sexuality.
And not just in Washington State, either.
California enacted legislation not too long ago that offers “legal refuge” to youngsters seeking transgender “care” but who are currently barred from receiving it in their home state, while New York City is on track to legislate something comparable.
There are more examples, but how many more stories do you want to hear of power-drunk politicians chomping at the bit to disfigure kids in the name of providing them health care?
We all get the point.
Now on to the good news.
There is a groundswell movement in Red America to protect our children from this hellish agenda, and it’s even coming from unlikely sources.
The Missouri State Attorney recently opened an investigation into the medical practices of Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital after a former employee at the clinic raised alarming allegations.
The defector’s name is Jamie Reed, and here is a portion of her affidavit:
“I witnessed staff at the Center provide puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children without complete informed parental consent and without an appropriate or accurate assessment of the needs of the child. I witnessed children experience shocking injuries from the medication the Center prescribed. And I saw the Center make no attempt or effort to track adverse outcomes of patients after they left the Center.”
Reed contends that she “raised concerns internally for years,” but to no avail. At one point her bosses grew tired of hearing these “concerns” and gave her this ultimatum: “Get with the program or get out.”
For her part, Reed is not a conservative activist. In her own words, she’s “a queer woman” and “politically to the left of Bernie Sanders.”
She’s also married to a “trans man.”
Basically, not a person you’d find headlining a dinner at the Values Voters Summit.
All the same, Reed’s out there blowing the whistle, revealing how she witnessed firsthand her facility doing irreparable damage to minors and making a mockery of the medical ethos of “do no harm.”
For instance, a young black girl who came from an “unstable family” and had a “history of drug use” sought counseling at the center for gender dysphoria starting at the age of 16. Rather than go through intense psychological evaluations to uncover what’s really driving the desire to “transition” — such as depression, anxiety, or social peer pressure — Reed accuses Washington University’s Pediatric Transgender Center of putting these emotionally fragile patients on a pre-determined path of hormones and surgery.
And that’s what happen with the black female above. She started hormone therapy at 16 and two years later she had both breasts chopped off, in what’s euphemistically known as “top surgery.”
Then came the regret:
“Three months later she called the surgeon’s office to say she was going back to her birth name and that her pronouns were ‘she’ and ‘her.’ Heartbreakingly, she told the nurse, ‘I want my breasts back.’ The surgeon’s office contacted our office because they didn’t know what to say to this girl.”
Of course, this exploited girl will never get her breasts back. She’s reportedly pregnant and won’t experience the motherly bond that comes with nursing one’s child.
The data show that most minors dealing with some form of gender unease will eventually grow out of the phase. Indeed, “roughly 60–90% of trans-kids turn out no longer to be trans by adulthood,” one meta-analysis concluded.
Yet instead of marshalling their resources to guide impressionable youth through a bewildering but transitory season of their lives, today’s medical establishment is handling this cohort like they are test subjects available for experimentation.
And the backlash over this experimentation is growing.
The medical staff, including doctors and nurses, connected to Washington University’s Pediatric Transgender Center could now have their licenses yanked depending on the outcome of the Missouri Attorney General’s investigation. Moreover, there are an increasing number of “de-transitioners” going public to document the “abuse” they suffered as a consequence of trusting medical “professionals.”
The most encouraging development, though, is on the legal front, where state legislatures are either on the cusp of outlawing transgender “therapy” for adolescents outright or have already done so.
North Dakota has passed legislation called “Help Not Harm,” which “bans doctors from prescribing drugs to stop normal puberty and some hormones” and prohibits them from “perform[ing] surgeries that would alter a minor’s sex.”
Arkansas, Alabama, and Arizona have similar laws on the books.
And Tennessee is about to join them, as its legislative body gears up to block doctors from assisting the under-18 crowd “to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with” their biological gender.
Our federalist system of government may favor states as the “laboratories of democracy,” but that doesn’t mean our nation’s youth should be treated as lab rats.
God willing, more states will follow suit in eliminating this unequivocal evil.
Follow Jason on Twitter! @JasonMattera
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.