Reader responds to Leppert’s criticism of GOP legislators

To the editor:

Mr. Michael Leppert’s March 11 column, “Parent to lawmakers: ‘Show me where it hurts,’” was harshly critical of Indiana state legislators.

Mr. Leppert scorns Republicans in the Indiana House and Senate for three proposed bills, SB 480, HB 1407 and HB 1608. All three bills seek to respond to children with the psychiatric diagnosis, gender dysphoria, meaning melancholy or significant discomfort over one’s sex identity.

Mr. Leppert is correct. SB 480 bans entirely medical treatments for Indiana minors (children 17 and under) diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Mr. Leppert did not tell us what those banned medical treatments are.

Quoting from the SB 480, these treatments are banned for children:

“Surgical procedures, including penectomy, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty, clitoroplasty or vulvoplasty for a male sex patient or hysterectomy or ovariectomy for a female sex patient.”

“Reconstruction of the fixed part of the urethra with or without metoidplasty.”

“Phalloplasty, vaginectomy, scrotoplasy or implantation of erection or testicular prostheses for a female patient.”

Additional gender dysphoria child medical treatments forbidden:

“Surgical procedures for a male sex patient, including augmentation mammoplasty, facial feminization surgery, liposuction, lipofilling, voice surgery, thyroid cartilage reduction, gluteal augmentation, hair reconstruction or associated aesthetic procedures.”

“Surgical procedures for a female sex patient, including subcutaneous mastectomy, voice surgery, liposuction, lipofilling, pectoral implants, or associated aesthetic procedures.”

SB 480 also forbids puberty-blocking hormones or hormones used for gender transition as a medical treatment for gender dysphoria and gender-affirming counseling for children.

In his second criticism, Mr. Leppert complains that children will be more vulnerable to neglect under HB 1407. How so?

Because parent rights are expanded. Hoosier parents, without state or local interference, are authorized to treat a boy as a boy and a girl as a girl. And, Hoosier parents can decline consent for puberty-blocking medication, can decline consent for testosterone or estrogen, can decline consent for surgical procedures that “change” the sex of their child, and can decline consent for counseling that seeks to affirm an alternate sex identity — and not be hauled into courts.

And finally, Mr. Leppert objects to HB 1608 because it robs support for children suffering from gender dysphoria. What does the bill say?

HB 1608 states that schools may not teach human sexuality prior to the fourth grade; that schools must notify parents if a child desires to change their name, their pronouns, or gender; and, that a school employee cannot be penalized “for using a name, pronoun, title, or other word to identify a student that is consistent with the student’s legal name.”

Thus, the bill does not ban support. True support must be both compassionate and in accord with biological reality.

A final note: Valid research does not support medical interventions for the painful condition of gender dysphoria nor does it support affirming children’s gender confusions. Medical and transgender activists will argue otherwise, but that only proves that medical organizations have become shamefully politicized.

Alan Winslow, Seymour