Maine Governor Signs Bill Allowing Teenagers to Obtain Cross-Sex Hormones Without Parental Consent

Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) signed into law legislation this week that eliminates the requirement of parental consent for 16-17-year-old minors to be provided cross-sex hormones to change their physical appearance to correspond to their gender identity at a given point in time.

L.D. 535, titled Act Regarding Consent for Gender-affirming Hormone Therapy for Certain Minors, states “a health care professional may provide gender-affirming hormone therapy and follow-up care to a minor without obtaining the consent of the parent or guardian of the minor,” with the requirements being that the minor is at least 16 years old; has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria; has been judged by a healthcare professional to be experiencing “harm” from not obtaining cross-sex hormones; and the minor’s parents do not support the hormone treatment.

Additionally, the measure states the teen must give “informed written consent” after a healthcare professional provides information that is not “misleading,” does not “coerce” or “persuade,” “will be understood by the minor,” will give the minor “alternative choices” for treating the gender dysphoria, and will explain the benefits and “possible consequences” of the hormone drugs.

In a study published in March 2022 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Dr. Stephen B. Levine of the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University noted so-called “gender-affirming care” is “still based on very low-quality evidence.”

“The many risks of these interventions, including medicalizing a temporary adolescent identity, have come into a clearer focus through an awareness of detransitioners,” Levine et al asserted, adding that while the lack of high-quality evidence for the success of these interventions should demand a comprehensive informed consent about their “risks and long-term outcomes,” the process is restricted by “erroneous professional assumptions; poor quality of the initial evaluations; and inaccurate and incomplete information shared with patients and their parents.”

In a Project Veritas report from October 2022, Daniel Metzger, M.D., a British Columbia Children’s Hospital pediatric endocrinologist who provides continuing education for the transgender medical industry, expressed his concern to his listeners that minors do not have the mental capacity to comprehend the results of these life-altering procedures.

“Some of the Dutch researchers started – gave some data about young adults who had transitioned and have reproductive regret – like regret – and it’s there,” Metzger said during a video conference. “And I don’t think any of that surprises us.”

He then went on to say that transgender medical professionals “try” to discuss with young teens the serious ramifications of taking cross-sex hormones and having transgender surgeries, but admitted the reality is that most teenagers are not “in any kind of a brain space” to have a serious discussion about the consequences of a gender change.

In an interview with Lumen-News, published in April 2022, California-based endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw, M.D., described the dangers of cross-sex hormones to children of both sexes:

Giving doses of testosterone to girls that are 10 to 100 times higher than what their bodies would ordinarily produce can lead to future heart disease and death, not to mention irreversibly altering and damaging their reproductive tracts and voice boxes.

High dose estrogen like what is being given to boys is also harmful with a forty six times increased risk of male breast cancer, a five times increased risk of blood clots which may be deadly, and a two times increased risk of stroke.

The Maine House passed the legislation allowing minors to have access to cross-sex hormones without parental consent in June by a vote of 73-60, with one Republican, state Rep. Sawin Millett (R-Waterford), voting with Democrats, and two Democrats, state Reps. Kevin O’Connell (D-Brewer) and Traci Gere (D-Kennebunkport), voting with Republicans.

In the state Senate, the measure passed by a vote of 20-14, with two Democrats, state Sens. Joseph M. Baldacci (D-Penobscot) and David P. LaFountain (D-Kennebec), voting with Republicans in opposition to the bill.

As The Maine Wire reported, State Representative Nina Milliken (D-Blue Hill) said during her floor speech in support of the bill she has “numerous loved ones and friends who are trans and have been that way since before their 16th birthdays.”

“I rise as a teacher who knows and trusts teenagers to make decisions about their own bodies,” Milliken added. “And I rise as a mother who hopes that my children will access medically necessary care, with or without my knowledge, if they feel they cannot come to me safely to discuss that care.”

State Representative Lucas Lanigan (R-Sanford), however, said, in opposition, he has “a little problem with a 16 year old being able to make this dramatic of a change to their body.”

Pointing out that 16-year-olds “can’t buy a ticket to a rated R movie without their parents’ permission,” Lanigan said he views the measure as “another bill that we’re just going too far on where we’re taking the rights of parents away.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Janet Mills” by Janet Mills. Background Photo “Maine Capitol” by AlexiusHoratius. CC BY-SA 3.0.




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