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Bipartisan bill in deep-blue Maryland would criminalize trans-related medical interventions on kids without parental consent
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Bipartisan bill in deep-blue Maryland would criminalize trans-related medical interventions on kids without parental consent

A few Democrats have joined more than a dozen of their Republican colleagues in the Maryland House of Delegates to propose a measure that would criminalize performing almost any form of trans-related medical intervention on a minor without parental consent.

On Wednesday, the Maryland House began considering HB 722, which would prohibit medical professionals from "attempting to alter the appearance of" a minor’s gender or sex or to "affirm the minor’s perception" of his or her gender without parent permission. Under the bill, all of the following would be banned for gender-confused children without the consent of a parent or guardian: puberty blockers; cross-sex hormones; and any surgical procedures that "sterilize," artificially attempt to construct cross-sex genitalia, or remove "any healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue."

The bill does allow a handful of exceptions, including for minors with a "medically verifiable disorder of sex development," those who have already been mutilated by previous gender-related medical interventions, and those who have sustained a catastrophic injury or illness that requires emergency surgery to prevent death or "major bodily" impairment. Of note, Maryland is one of just a handful of states that allows kids 12 and up to make some medical-related decisions without parental consent.

Republican Delegate Lauren Arikan of Harford County, who proposed the bill, claims that it will "ensure the protection of minors from life-altering, permanent medical procedures that have not been proven as necessary or helpful in the treatment of gender dysphoria."

At least 15 of her Republican colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors, as have three Democrats: Sheree Sample-Hughes, Gary Simmons, and Kym Taylor. Democrat support for the measure, no matter how small, is important in a state as deeply blue as Maryland. The state not only has a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, but Democrats also have a sizeable majority in both legislative chambers. They outnumber Republicans 102 to 39 in the House of Delegates and 34 to 13 in the Senate.

The Daily Signal suggested that the increasingly bipartisan nature of measures that ban or limit trans-related medical interventions, especially for minors, may be a sign that trans ideology is falling out of political favor. "The overwhelming public backlash against the push for minors’ access to gender treatments may have contributed to caution from Democrats in both red and blue states," the outlet stated.

Still, the measure has a long way to go before it could become law in Maryland. The Health and Government Operations Committee was scheduled to consider the measure shortly after it was introduced in the House. The outcome of that committee meeting is unclear.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →