A 9-year-old female, who identifies as a male, and her parents are the lead plaintiffs in a recently filed lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s new law that prohibits the administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and “gender reassignment surgeries” on minors. A physician and three groups supporting the procedures have joined the suit against the state’s Department of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Medical Board.
The 56 page lawsuit alleges that the law “threatens the health and wellbeing of transgender adolescents in North Carolina” and claims that it is unconstitutional “because it discriminates against transgender minors on the basis of sex and transgender status.” They also say it “violates the right to parental autonomy that is guaranteed to all parents by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by depriving only the parents of transgender minors of their fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children by seeking medical care for their children that healthcare providers have recommended.”
The NC Legislature passed HB 808—An Act to Prohibit Gender Transition Procedures for Minors in late June of this year. The bill, which also prohibits state funds from being used to pay for such procedures and offers conscience protections for healthcare workers and entities, was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper. The Governor’s veto was subsequently overridden by state lawmakers in mid-August.
The basis for the new law can be found in resources like the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) Biological Integrity website, which includes an informative Fact Sheet that explains, “Gender dysphoria is the experience of ‘disconnect’ between the objective reality of the child’s body and the child’s subjective self-perception that is accompanied by emotional distress.” It also points out that, “Prior to the widespread use of transgender interventions, most gender dysphoric youth resolved their dysphoria by young adulthood.”
ACPeds states there is clear evidence of harms that can result from these procedures:
- Puberty blockers, when used for gender dysphoria, can cause emotional distress, new-onset psychiatric illness, reduced bone density, permanent sexual dysfunction, and the possibility of permanent sterility (if used in early puberty then combined with or followed by cross-sex hormones).
- Cross-sex hormones can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
- Transgender surgeries maim healthy tissue and destroy healthy organs.
- Youth affirmed as transgender by their parents had greater anxiety and lower self-esteem than their age-matched peers.
- There are no long-term studies of medical and surgical interventions for gender dysphoria in youth.
Moreover, adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria are not more likely to commit suicide if they do not undergo transgender interventions. The Fact Sheet also cites the following:
- Three systematic reviews of the world scientific literature found no evidence that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones reduce the risk of suicide.
- 22% of gender dysphoric patients attempt suicide — a similar incidence for autistic patients and patients suffering from depression or anxiety.
- A long-term study of transgender adults who underwent hormones and surgeries revealed a suicide rate 19 times that of the general population.
Several European nations have reversed course on medical and surgical interventions for gender dysphoric youth due to risk for irreversible harm and low evidence of any benefit.”
NC Family will update you as this case develops.