Tim Barto: Cautionary tales of gender transitioning heard in House Judiciary Committee

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By TIM BARTO

Hats off to House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Sarah Vance and Vice Chairwoman Jamie Allard, who held hearings on three bills on Monday:

1) HB386, introduced by Attorney General Treg Taylor, would crack down on self-righteous miscreants who find it trendy to block traffic and obstruct other public places so everyone can be inconvenienced by their political protests.

2) HB105, introduced by Education Commissioner Deena Bishop, will empower parents to keep fully informed about what’s going on with their children in public schools, to include if information is being kept from them about their children’s use alternative names and pronouns; and

3) HB338, which will make medical practitioners liable for the damage they cause to children as a result of gender transition procedures.

All three of these bills have merit and are significant for their efforts to fight against the extreme actions of far left protesters, schoolteachers and administrators, and medical providers, but this article will focus on HB338, as it is a piece of legislation that will curtail the insanity and downright evil that is being perpetrated on children. It is an issue on which Alaska Family Council is leading the effort to educate Alaskans in order to protect children. 

Introduced by Rep. Allard of Eagle River, the bill will make medical practitioners financially culpable for the harm they inflict on minors through puberty blockers and surgical procedures. Four rather unique individuals were invited to provide expert testimony, and their statements brought conviction to save children, and condemnation to those who promote and practice treatments that harm children.

Allard attempted to obtain testimonies from Alaska doctors and therapists who support the legislation, but these professionals feared becoming targets if they came forward. Some of them experienced threats during the Covid pandemic and they were worried their actions would be brought to vindictive medical licensing boards, jeopardizing their licenses to practice, as evidenced by what happened to some doctors in Alaska who held contrary opinions during the first two years of the pandemic. Allard turned to nationally known experts in the field. 

The first testimony came from Stephanie Winn, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist from Portland, Oregon. Winn describes herself as a “left-leaning therapist who was once trained to provide so called gender affirming care,” but who changed her mind about providing such care to children once she began to see the harm it caused. 

Winn listened to the painful testimonies of de-transitioners and those who regretted their decisions to undergo the radical procedures involved in gender transitioning. Her 2020 pivot to being gender critical led to harassment and slander directed towards her, jeopardizing her reputation, income, and even her safety; however, she felt it her ethical duty to remove herself from further participation in the practice.

Winn decided that her personal safety was less important than helping young, vulnerable, mentally ill patients, so she joined colleagues from around the world who now favor therapy ahead of what she called “the most unconscionable medical scandal of our time.” 

Recompense is appropriate, she said, because of the litany of health risks involved: inability to have children or breastfeed, weakened bones, osteoporosis, painful or prolonged urination, loss of bladder control, loss of sexual sensation, increased cardiovascular disease and cancer, early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, diabetes, and metabolic disorders. Furthermore, there are no accurate predictors of patients who will persist with their transition or who will opt for de-transitioning.

Winn’s testimony was followed by Dr. Ivan Abdouch, retired professor from the University of Nebraska Medical School. Abdouch served as the Medical Director of the Omaha Gender Identity Team, guiding the management of many gender transition individuals for various Midwest states.

Abdouch said the question of what to do with children experiencing gender identity issues is whether to medicate and operate, or wait. His advice is to wait. In fact, it should never be done, he added, especially since there are at least 18 mental conditions that can be confused as gender dysphoria.

Abdouch outlined three facts that should be considered when deliberating the issue of using drugs or surgery on minors:

1) There are no current generally accepted standards of care;

2) No one can determine with accuracy the gender trajectory of any child or adolescent;

3) Treatment effects are universal and lifelong.

Abdouch asked the legislators to keep in mind this question:  What is an acceptable number or percentage of children who experience irreversible lifelong harm from gender treatment? Any answer other than zero, he advised, is indicative there are things other than safe medical practices involved.

Abdouch admitted he is not in favor of government management of medical practices, but when there is such potential harm to children at stake then someone has to step in.

The next expert to testify was Ari DeWolf, Director of Outreach for Do No Harm, an organization dedicated to speaking out against the harmful effects of gender transitioning of minors. Like the first two speakers, DeWolf described himself in a manner that most people would not expect to hear from someone speaking out against a topic so popular in today’s culture. He’s a gay, half-black, Jewish conservative. 

His uniqueness defied stereotypes and would have made him susceptible to gender transitioning treatment as a minor. DeWolf spent a great deal of time studying this issue and focusing on the parents affected by the procedures. Parents are seeing their children turn against them by schools and medical professionals, and these institutions are taking advantage of young people. 

Matt Sharp, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, was the final expert to speak. His clearly stated goal is to protect children, and he feels that can be done better through compassionate, effective mental health care than through medical procedures promoted by activists and profit-driven gender clinics, though, have put an emphasis on drugs and surgery. 

The legal recourse afforded by HB338 is necessary to put a stop to the irreversible effects of gender transitioning, which include preventing healthy puberty, radically altering hormonal balances, interfering with mental and emotional development, and removing healthy body parts.

Limiting freedom for minors is a legitimate function of government, as it is done with limiting or prohibiting children from signing contracts, voting, buying alcohol or tobacco, or getting tattoos. Minors lack experience and judgment, and if doctors are making these life-altering decisions for them, or at least leading them in that direction, then the state has the authority, indeed the obligation, to step in.

Public testimony on this bill is scheduled for 1 pm on Wednesday, April 17. Here is the email address to the Judiciary Committee: [email protected].

Tim Barto is a regular contributor to Must Read Alaska, and is vice president of Alaska Family Council, the Alaska organization leading the fight to protect minors from the harmful effects of gender transitioning treatments.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hallelujah, some sanity has arrived. don’t expect concurrence from our Anchorage assembly or board. In fact, expect a denouncing soon.

  2. Gender surgery on minors is very rare, less than 1% of transgender surgeries are regretted. Government getting between a person and their doctor violates their Alaska Constitutional rights.

    • March 4, 2024
      Newly leaked files from within the leading global transgender healthcare body have revealed that the clinicians who shape how “gender medicine” is regulated and practiced around the world consistently violate medical ethics and informed consent….
      WPATH is considered the leading global scientific and medical authority on “gender medicine,” and in recent decades, its Standards of Care have shaped the guidance, policies and practices of governments, medical associations, public health systems and private clinics across the world.
      However, the WPATH Files reveal that the organization does not meet the standards of evidence-based medicine, and members frequently discuss improvising treatments as they go along. Members are fully aware that children and adolescents cannot comprehend the lifelong consequences of “gender-affirming care,” and in some cases, due to poor health literacy, neither can their parents.
      The WPATH Files show that what is called ‘gender medicine’ is neither science nor medicine. The experiments are not randomized, double-blind, or controlled. It’s not medicine since the first rule is to do no harm. And that requires informed consent.
      The raw files have been published in a report called The WPATH Files: Pseudoscientific surgical and hormonal experiments on children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults, which contains analysis by journalist Mia Hughes that puts the WPATH Files in the context of the best available science on gender distress….
      The files provide clear evidence that doctors and therapists are aware they are offering minors life-changing treatments they cannot fully understand. WPATH members know that puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries will cause infertility and other complications, including cancer and pelvic floor dysfunction…. The WPATH Files also show how far medical experiments in gender medicine have gone, with discussions about surgeons performing “nullification” and other extreme body modification procedures to create body types that do not exist in nature….
      A growing number of medical and psychiatric professionals say the promotion of pseudoscientific surgical and hormonal experiments is a global medical scandal that compares to major incidents of medical malpractice in history, such as lobotomies and ovariotomies.

    • “Government getting between a person and their doctor violates their Alaska Constitutional rights.” I’ll use that line when I ask my doc for a script for 100 oxyies , refillable 4 times. And chase them with Ivermectin.

  3. A kid can not buy booze, cigarettes, or vote. But they can decide to have life altering surgery? Madness.

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