Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Congressman Believes That Anti-Trans Measures are Good Politics

Two anti-transgender bills will die in committee but that is not the point.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa
Republican Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-1) has a degree in agribusiness from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I suspect that Rep. LaMalfa could help me grow some potent pot.

LaMalfa presumes to be an expert in pediatric gender dysphoria. Apparently the farmer has more expertise than the American Academy of Pediatrics because he disagrees with that organization's clinical practice standards. Farmer LaMalfa has two bills under consideration which would ban medical interventions.
Doug LaMalfa wants to substitute his uninformed judgment for that of clinicians and parents.
Call me a cynic but LaMalfa knows that anti-transgender measures have no chance of passage in the House. Thus it is reasonable to presume that LaMalfa is pandering to his base in a conservative (middle income) California district. If LaMalfa is correct, if his constituents are in favor of these odious bills, then we have some work to do.

The two bills:
  • H.R.8012 - To amend chapter 110 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit gender reassignment medical interventions on minors, and for other purposes.
  • H.R.8013 - To prohibit taxpayer-funded gender reassignment medical interventions, and for other purposes.
As of Tuesday, the text of these bills has not been submitted. However, Doug LaMalfa explains more on his website:
The Protecting Children from Experimentation Act would prohibit doctors from performing experimental gender reassignment treatments on children. Puberty-blocking hormones followed by cross-sex hormones can cause irreversible damage to children’s bodies, including an increased risk of cancer and permanent sterilization.
Obviously LaMalfa has not compared the benefits and risks of certain treatments. LaMalfa disagrees with guidance from the Pediatric Endocrine Society. After all, they are the experts regarding puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
The End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act would protect taxpayers’ conscience by prohibiting federal funding for gender reassignment surgeries and treatments.
Mr. LaMalfa's conscience includes child abuse. Were his measures to become law, they would generate a substantial amount of self-harm by gender incongruent children and adolescents.

It's a safe bet that Rep. Doug LaMalfa did not contact either the American Academy of Pediatrics or the Pediatric Endocrine Society in an effort to understand the science.

We acquire a better understand of LaMalfa from this quote:
Our society has quickly ‘normalized’ gender experimentation under the guise of an ‘accepting’ political ideology rather than biological reality. Even more troubling, children are undergoing experimental treatments, like being injected with puberty-blocking hormones and cross-sex hormones, which have irreversible consequences, such as permanent sterility
“Political ideology” suggests that LaMalfa has a religious objection to the existence of transgender people. He clearly does not understand the construct of gender. Presumably that is willful ignorance.

When South Dakota was considering similar legislation, Dr. Jack Turban (then with Harvard and Mass General) weighed in at the New York Times. Dr. Turban wrote (emphasis added):
Over the past few decades, physicians have learned how to help these young people. In the past, doctors tried to force them to be cisgender, to identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. New research shows that this approach is associated with their attempting suicide. Having learned from these mistakes, we now follow new protocols that guide us to accept and affirm transgender youths in their transgender identities. We often use medications that prevent some of the physical changes of puberty that cause these adolescents distress.

Unfortunately, huge shifts in medical literature do not always make their way to politicians.…
As a congressman, Doug LaMalfa should be a leader. Leadership means promoting the best available science when it comes to healthcare.

LaMalfa is consistent. I'll give him that. He was a fierce opponent of marriage equality claiming in 2014 that it would inevitably lead to the legalization of polygamy.

LaMalfa was demonstrably wrong then and demonstrably wrong now. Before sponsoring noxious legislation he should talk to some parents and clinicians. I would call that an obligation.

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