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American Nurses Association Wants No Restrictions on Gender Reassignment Surgeries For Minors

Opponents argue that support for the procedures is rooted in politics, not science

This week, fresh outrage was sparked over the issue of “gender affirming care” after the American Nurses Association (ANA) penned a letter opposing Republican-led efforts to restrict gender transition surgeries for minors.

“The American Nurses Association strongly opposes any legislation or policy action that places restrictions on transgender health care and that criminalizes gender-affirming care,” the letter reads.

Over four million registered nurses in the U.S. are represented by the ANA, which objects to the proposed legislation (in part) because it may expose medical professionals who perform gender reassignment surgeries or other transition-related procedures to civil or criminal penalties.

“These restrictive laws interfere with the trust and confidentiality between patients, parents or guardians, and clinicians in the delivery of evidence-based care,” the ANA letter states.

ANA members also contend, “The legislative intent and medical claims behind these laws are not grounded in reputable science and conflict with the nurse’s obligation to promote, advocate, and protect the rights, health, and safety of patients.”

However, opponents to gender reassignment and similar medical procedures for young people argue that these procedures are grounded in politics rather than science.

“It does not cite any scientific evidence, it is a piece of political advocacy that I honestly suspect is the product of a small group of people in the organization who are advocates,” Jay Richards, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told

“Americans should not think that this reflects the views of ordinary nurses,” he said. “I fear that this is a grotesque politicization of an issue that should be decided on steely scientific grounds.”

So far, Arizona is the only state that has banned transgender surgery for anyone under the age of 18. Alabama and Arkansas imposed bans on minors receiving puberty blockers and hormone therapy, but currently those policies have been suspended. At least ten states prevent Medicaid from being used to subsidize transgender care, DailMail reports.

The ANA letter also follows recent controversy over a letter signed by 62 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives to Vanderbilt University Medical Center urging their staff to immediately halt all permanent gender transition surgeries performed on minors.

The GOP lawmakers drafted their letter dated Sept. 28. after videos surfaced of a Vanderbilt doctor who described the surgeries as a “huge money maker” for the hospital. Vanderbilt was given 10 days to respond.

As of Oct. 3, Vanderbilt’s medical center had paused its gender transitioning surgeries for individuals under the age of 18.

However, in a clear sign that the issue is far from over, in late October, President Joe Biden weighed in against efforts to curb the often irreversible surgeries for minors, calling those efforts “outrageous” and “immoral.”

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