Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) has advocated for a nationwide prohibition on gender transition surgeries for minors, describing these procedures as “barbaric” and amounting to “mutilation of children.”
His comments were made during his opening statement at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing titled “Dangers and Due Process Violations of ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ for Children.”
Johnson, serving as the subcommittee chairman, expressed his belief that not even a parent has the right to facilitate a child’s sex transition, emphasizing the need to shield children from abuse and physical harm.
He further justified his stance by comparing these surgeries to safety regulations such as seat belt laws, and age restrictions on driving, alcohol consumption, and smoking, which are imposed for public safety despite curbing personal freedoms.
Johnson contested the nearly unanimous support for child sex change procedures within the American medical community. He presented evidence to support his claim that these surgeries are performed while “know[ing] almost nothing about the outcomes for these children.”
Representative Harriet Hageman (R-WY) likened gender transition procedures to other controversial medical practices, describing them as a form of “sexual lobotomy.”
“So-called gender-affirming care is anything but affirming and caring,” Johnson said. “This is adults deciding to permanently alter the bodies of children who do not have the capacity to make life-altering decisions on their own.”
Johnson further argued that gender-affirming care was a misnomer and involved adults permanently altering children’s bodies without their informed consent. He criticized this practice as causing “unspeakable harm” to children, often to reinforce adult beliefs about gender fluidity. He also suggested that social pressures and academia were manipulating impressionable children and preventing parents from participating in decision-making processes.
“What is even more alarming is that the central tenet of the transgender movement and its allies is to exclude parents as much as possible from making decisions about the health of their own children,” he said, referencing a case from Children’s Hospital New Orleans where doctors “laughed in the face of a young girl’s parents when they attempted to intervene as doctors sought to transition their daughter without their consent.”
Democrats on the subcommittee expressed their disapproval of the hearing’s subject matter. Subcommittee ranking member Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) defended parents’ rights to make informed decisions about their children’s medical care and criticized the idea that politicians are better equipped to judge the necessity of gender-affirming care.
Scanlon emphasized the positive impact of transitions on children’s lives, asserting that in some cases, they can be life-saving. She referenced the endorsement of these medical procedures by the American medical establishment, labeling them as safe and effective.
Chloe Cole, a 19-year-old who began the transition process at 12 and later detransitioned, testified at the subcommittee. She described her journey as a coerced one, driven by doctors. She labeled herself as a victim of a significant medical scandal, which she argued propagates ideological deceit and coercion.
“My voice will forever be deeper, my jawline sharper, my nose longer, my bone structure permanently masculinized, my Adam’s apple more prominent, my fertility unknown,” Cole told the House subcommittee. “I look in the mirror sometimes and I feel like a monster.”
“I had a double mastectomy at 15,” she continued. “After my breasts were taken away from me, the tissue was incinerated. Before I was able to legally drive, I had a huge part of my future womanhood taken from me. I will never be able to breastfeed.”
She detailed her experiences, including being placed on puberty blockers, switching to testosterone, and undergoing a double mastectomy at 15. The irreversible physical changes left her feeling like a “monster,” she said. She concluded her testimony with a plea to stop such procedures, calling puberty a “rite of passage” rather than a disease.
She shared that, contrary to the doctors’ predictions that she would be suicidal if she didn’t transition, she only began experiencing suicidal thoughts after undergoing the surgery.
In her concluding remarks, she stated, “Puberty is a rite of passage to adulthood, not a disease to be mitigated. Enough children have already been victimized by this barbaric pseudoscience. Please let me be your final warning.”