US senator JD Vance moves to ban all gender-affirming care for trans minors across the nation

JD Vance, infront of several individuals, walks through an open room.

Yet another federal ban on gender-affirming care for minors has been proposed by Republican lawmakers, this time by Ohio senator JD Vance.

Vance announced the bill, called the ‘Protect Children’s Innocence Act’, on Tuesday (18 July).

The bill mirrors several proposed bans on gender-affirming healthcare across the US by outlawing gender-affirming surgeries and physically reversible puberty blockers for minors.

“Under no circumstances should doctors be allowed to perform these gruesome, irreversible operations on underage children,” Vance said in a statement after announcing the bill.

Gender-affirming surgeries for under-18s are already not legal in the majority of countries worldwide, including the US and UK.

However, gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers for trans minors is widely supported by major medical associations across the US, including the American Medical Association and the Endocrine Society.

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The bill uses a vague justification of biological sex – defining it as “the indication of male or female sex by reproductive potential, capacity, sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads or internal or external genitalia present at birth” – to prevent doctors and medical organisations from administering often medically necessary puberty blockers.

Those found in breach of the legislation, if passed into law, would face fines of up to $250,000 (£321,200) and have their medical license revoked.

Furthermore, the legislation would ban federal funding for gender-affirming treatments and care, including health benefit plans.

Vance’s bill almost entirely imitates a bill proposed in September 2022 by Georgia far-right Republican and conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene has publicly voiced support for Vance’s bill.

“Every Republican in Congress should sign on as a cosponsor to this important legislation,” the Georgia representative wrote in a tweet.

Vance and Greene have shown regular public support for one another in the past. In March 2022, Vance defended Greene’s attendance at a white supremacy rally hosted by neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, who recently said he believes Jewish people should “die in the holy war.

LGBTQ+ nonprofit GLAAD condemned the bill in a post on its website that noted: “Vance did not cite any instance in which such imagined [gender-affirming surgical] procedures have taken place, city and statistics on such procedures, nor refer to any research on transgender healthcare.

“The proposed legislation offers a limited and inaccurate definition of ‘biological sex’ that ignores the existence of intersex people and seeks to ban a variety of procedures commonly performed on cisgender people.”

Similarly to Greene’s bill, it is unlikely to be voted through the Democrat-controlled Senate and, in the unlikely event that it does, would most likely not be signed into law by President Biden.