‘All Options Are On The Table’: Dozens Of Tennessee Republicans Push Hospital To Halt Gender Surgeries For Kids

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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  • Tennessee state House Republicans urged Vanderbilt University Medical Center to halt gender-related surgeries on minors within days and warned of consequences if the surgeries continue.
  • The move comes after an explosive report revealed the hospital was performing ‘gender-affirming’ mastectomies on minors and administering cross-sex hormones and puberty-blocking medications to children. 
  • “It is deeply troubling that Vanderbilt University Medical Center appears to be motivated by profits in its practice of recommending such radical and life-altering surgery for minors,” Republican Tennessee state Rep. Jason Zachary said.

Dozens of legislators from Tennessee’s House of Representatives urged the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to halt gender-related surgeries on minors in a Wednesday letter.

VUMC offers various medical procedures to minors who identify as transgender to help them present as the opposite sex including hormones and double-mastectomies, according to the Daily Wire. The letter, signed by 62 House Republicans, asked VUMC to halt its gender-related surgeries on minors within 10 days, warning that  additional steps will be taken in the coming weeks and in the legislature’s January session.

Legislators are open to a wide variety of options, including a criminal investigation, to crack down on the procedures depending on the hospital’s response, Republican Tennessee state Rep. Jason Zachary told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“All options are on the table,” he told the DCNF.

The effort is a direct response to unearthed videos regarding transgender surgeries for minors and profiting from such procedures, but House Republicans are also working on legislation cracking down on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors, he said.

“It is deeply troubling that Vanderbilt University Medical Center appears to be motivated by profits in its practice of recommending such radical and life-altering surgery for minors,” Zachary said in a press release. “We expect Vanderbilt’s Board of Directors to simply do what is right by choosing to protect the well-being and health of vulnerable children.”

The hospital was also accused of putting pressure on employees with conscientious and religious objections to cross-sex medical procedures, and in one unearthed video a hospital employee reportedly boasted about how profitable cross-sex hormones and surgeries, including genital surgeries, could be for the hospital. Tennessee House Republicans urged VUMC to respect the objections of health care workers who choose not to participate in certain procedures. (RELATED: No One Knows How Many Minors Are Getting ‘Gender-Affirming’ Mastectomies)

“My colleagues and I in the Tennessee General Assembly are alarmed by recent reports from the Daily Wire detailing the surgical mutilations of minor children at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC),” the letter read. “While those 18-years and older are recognized as legal adults and free to make decisions in their best interests, it is an egregious error of judgment that an institution as highly respected as Vanderbilt would condone (and promote) harmful and irreversible procedures for minor children in the name of profit.”

“We are appalled that these reports demonstrate threats by Vanderbilt personnel to take adverse actions against employees who are conscientious and religious objectors to genital disfiguring and double mastectomies of children,” the letter read.

Vanderbilt shared a general statement in defense of pediatric gender services with the DCNF and did not comment on the Republicans’ letter.

“Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is now the subject of social media posts and a video that misrepresent facts about the care the Medical Center provides to transgender patients,” the statement read. “VUMC began its Transgender Health Clinic because transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system. We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and in line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies.”

“VUMC requires parental consent to treat a minor patient who is to be seen for issues related to transgender care and never refuses parental involvement in the care of transgender youth who are under age 18,” it said. “Our policies allow employees to decline to participate in care they find morally objectionable, and do not permit discrimination against employees who choose to do so. This includes employees whose personal or religious beliefs do not support gender-affirming care for transgender persons.”

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