The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN) reacted to several Tennessee lawmakers calling for an investigation into Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) after it was reported that the university’s gender clinic provides minors with body-mutilating surgeries and hormones that produce permanent, irreversible changes to children with parental consent.
Additionally, in the wake of the reporting on VUMC, the lawmakers – which include Governor Bill Lee and Senator Marsha Blackburn – are calling for investigations into legislation outlawing any transgender medical interventions for minors.
BREAKING: ACLU-TN Condemns Calls for Introduction of Anti-Trans Legislation and Investigation Into Transgender Health Care
Read our full statement here: https://t.co/csbczY5k0M
— ACLU of Tennessee (@aclutn) September 22, 2022
“We’re deeply disturbed by the governor’s choice to stigmatize transgender children and their families and legislators’ calls to introduce legislation restricting trans people’s access to health care. The doctors that provide trans youth with this critical care are saving lives. They support children and their families by allowing them to thrive, and these professionals are nothing short of heroes,” Henry Seaton, ACLU-TN transgender justice advocate, said in a statement.
“For the trans Tennesseans who see this hateful action and are fearful because of it – know that ACLU-TN will always advocate for the rights of children and families to make informed and safe private medical decisions. It is our priority to save trans lives and keep our trans community members safe,” he added.
According to its website, ACLU-TN works to “fight discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, working for fair treatment on the job and in schools, housing, public places and health care.”
In a press release, the organization claims that “multiple studies have shown that providing gender-affirming and supportive care saves young people’s lives by dramatically reducing depression and suicidal ideation,” however, the group did not provide any specific studies to support this argument.
ACLU-TN Executive Director Kathy Sinback also released a statement on the matter, saying, “Parents, patients and medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of any particular young person. Medical and mental health treatment for transgender individuals is guided by evidence-based clinical guidelines, as well as existing state law that already regulates health care for trans Tennesseans. Efforts to restrict trans Tennesseans’ access to health care is vast government overreach and ACLU-TN stands ready to fight back against intrusions into the private medical decision-making rights of parents and families when seeking gender-affirming care.”
The Tennessee Star reported this week that author and journalist Matt Walsh broke the news about Vanderbilt’s gender clinic, telling FOX News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday, “We know for a fact…that [at] Vanderbilt they perform double mastectomies on minor girls…They give [children] irreversible hormone drugs that change their bodies permanently.”
.@MattWalshBlog talks to @TuckerCarlson about Vanderbilt's transgender clinic: "We know for a fact…that [at] Vanderbilt they perform double mastectomies on minor girls…They give [children] irreversible hormone drugs that change their bodies permanently." pic.twitter.com/rJ6usEHfB6
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 22, 2022
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.