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LB574, protecting children, and standing ground against false compassion

On March 23, the Nebraska Legislature voted to advance Senator Kathleen Kauth’s LB574, the “Let Them Grow” Act, to the second round of debate. LB574 would prohibit subjecting children (anyone under 19) to puberty blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries for the purpose of attempting to change the child’s sex.

LB574 also gives people a right to sue doctors who subjected them to these procedures as children and prohibits any state money from going to institutions that perform them.

Forbidding that public funds be used for these drugs and surgeries on children is an important part of the bill because the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), a public institution, has a “gender clinic” that provides these drugs and procedures and refers minors for them. Disturbingly, several doctors from UNMC testified against the bill and in favor of these practices at LB574’s committee hearing Feb. 8.
Supporters of the bill, however, included men and women, some still quite young, who had been subjected to and now regretted “hormone therapy” and surgeries—such as double mastectomies—at ages as young as 16, including at UNMC.

LB574 was debated on first round (referred to as “General File”) for eight hours, which was spread out over three days. It needed 33 “yes” votes (out of 49 total senators) to end a legislative filibuster and proceed to a vote on whether to advance the bill. It received exactly 33.
After the vote to end the filibuster, senators voted on whether to advance the bill to the second round (known as “Select File”). This time the bill received 30 “yes” votes—more than the needed 25, but fewer than the 33 who voted to end the filibuster, an indicator that some senators would like to see changes in the bill before it passes into law. Select File debate has not yet been scheduled.

LB574 is important because it has become necessary to protect adolescent children and their parents from a new, predatory pseudo-medical industry that, like the abortion industry, profits richly from the exploitation of vulnerable people. The children who are put on cross-sex hormones can become permanently infertile after only months of such “therapy.”

Even if a person persists in wanting to live as the opposite sex—something that is simply not biologically possible—his or her body will always be trying to heal itself because the hormones that are being injected cannot change the maleness or femaleness of their bodies that exists all the way down to the cellular level. The same is true of surgeries. The wounds that are inflicted on a person, creating artificial parts or cavities, are recognized by the body as wounds that the body then attempts to heal. Constant re-wounding of the body through these hormones and surgeries, which cost thousands and thousands of dollars, will be necessary to keep fighting a permanent war with nature for the rest of the person’s life. There is no end, except in reconciling with the truth about oneself, including one’s body.

If and when the person realizes what they have done is a mistake, permanent damage, including to their fertility, has often already been done to the body. There is simply no legitimate argument against protecting kids from this kind of destructive and profit-generating violence posing as medical treatment.

Those who defend puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and “transition” surgeries often say they are necessary to prevent gender-questioning adolescents from attempting suicide. They rely on pseudoscience—often internet polls that are later referred to as “studies”—to “prove” these claims, which are often used to intimidate parents to consent to these interventions on their children. It is very encouraging that our Legislature has, at least in round one, not consented into being shamed into a false compassion that would acquiesce to this predatory industry rather than putting an end to it, which is what is demanded by real compassion.

Senator Kauth deserves thanks and respect for her perseverance and steadfastness since the introduction of this bill. Senators Bruce Bostelman (Brainard), Rob Clements (Elmwood), Rick Holdcroft (Bellevue), Brad von Gillern (Omaha), Ben Hansen (Blair), and Julie Slama (Peru) also deserve our gratitude for their willingness to stand up and speak on behalf of the kids and parents who are being victimized by this industry.

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