Due to last month’s publication of new standard-of-care guidelines by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), the Transgender Health Clinic at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center has temporarily halted gender surgeries for patients under the age of 18.
According to a letter sent by C. Wright Pinson, the institution’s chief health system officer, to Republican Rep. Jason Zachary on Friday, the clinic is pausing gender-affirmation surgeries on patients under 18 due to the need to conduct an internal clinical review and consult a wide array of experts, which could take several months.
Tennessee is one of several states- including Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, and Arizona- attempting to crack down on practitioners that offer irreversible medical procedures to minors, such as hormone treatment and “gender-affirming” surgery, sometimes without parental knowledge or consent.
The state has adopted the ban on pre-pubertal hormone treatment last year and other states have also adopted legal measures restricting such treatments.
The letter Zachary hailed it as a victory when he posted it to Twitter is a response to the letter that he and other state GOP leaders had written last month to the Transgender Health Clinic demanding a moratorium on providing gender surgeries to minors, Wright explains.
GOP lawmakers also demanded all its affiliates honor so-called conscientious objectors – medical professionals who, due to their religious beliefs, refuse to perform certain medical procedures.
Posting the letter, Zachary has tweeted his appreciation to Vanderbilt for addressing the Republican Party’s deep concerns that its pediatric gender clinic’s practices as amounting to abuse.
Wright’s letter reassures concerned Republican politicians that Vanderbilt was compliant with Tennessee law, including legislation banning hormone treatment for pre-pubertal children.
Since it opened in 2018, the Transgender Health Clinic’s Vanderbilt doctors have performed an average of five gender-affirming surgeries per year on patients under 18 but not one was a genital procedure, none was paid for by government funds and all patients were over 16, and had parental consent, Wright insisted.
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