On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee over its new law banning transgender medical treatment for minors, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Tennessee measure, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Bill Lee in March, prohibits doctors in the state from prescribing hormone drugs and puberty blockers to anyone under the age of 18 and bans the surgical mutilation of children. The law also permits victims of transgender medical treatment to sue doctors and their parents for providing or consenting to treatment.
The Justice Department argues in its lawsuit that denying access to transgender treatment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment since the drugs are legal for “non-transgender minors.”
To argue that the drugs and surgeries are “medically necessary,” the Justice Department cites recommendations from “major medical associations.”
In a statement on Wednesday, the US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Henry Leventis argued that the Tennesee law would prevent “transgender children” from receiving the medical care their doctors and parents have deemed “medically necessary.”
Leventis accused the state of substituting the judgment of parents and “medical professionals” with “that of elected officials.” He claimed that the law “codifies discrimination” against children who already “face too many obstacles.”
In responding to the lawsuit, Governor Lee said the Tennessee law protects children from “permanent, life-altering decisions.” Lee vowed to fight the lawsuit in court.
Elizabeth Lane, a spokeswoman for Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, disputed Leventis’ claim that the procedures are “medically necessary.” She argued that the “mounting evidence has persuaded a growing number of countries” that the medical procedures are “irreversible” and “not appropriate” for children suffering from gender dysphoria.
Lane is correct. In several Western European countries, including Finland, France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, there has been a movement away from medical treatment due to significant concerns over its long-term effects on children.